yesterday's event started off a little slower then usual which i didn't mind as my legs were feeling a little beat up as of late. several times i saw the pace go down into the low 20's and then it would pop back up again.
i decided i would continue my tactics of racing smart and not taking any hella long pulls or do anything that would put me in the hurt locker for too long until the time was right.
usually the pick up in pace was from paul, and he was looking exceptionally twitchy and fast. he was pulling back a ton of breaks in no time at all.
laps were counting down and i was thinking that paul was going to unleash a late furious attack. and so it was written in the history of westlake worlds my prediction....
he attacked with about 8 to go and i went with jp to try to chase him down. it hurt like hell - and according to my garmin, we hit around 35mph+ chasing him and my heart rate hit around 185. ouchy.
with a 3 man break established, we were taking pulls, but clearly paul was the strong man. we would all take pulls and i was just starring at my garmin counting laps, looking at my heart and for the field behind us.
gap grew, legs started cramping.
2 laps to go, right before the 2nd corner, paul jumped us, cramps twinged and he got a good gap. we would hold him steady to about 100-150 feet, but we were both pretty cooked from our efforts.
we did not sprint and would finish side by side, i was scored second on the day.
JoeBlow Mountain Floor Pump
Mountain bike specific floor pump designed to deliver high volume and is built to last. Note the max 75psi capacity and twin head. And don't forget my favorite feature - a nice built in air release button.
Overall great pump that inflates tires quickly and has some features not found on most other brands.
Compact aluminum pump weighing in at only 85 grams and can inflate tires up to 90psi. It's small enough to stick in your back jersey pocket, but I actually prefer to run mine with included side bottle cage mount.
Pump has some really nice features like an integrated dust cap to keep dirt from getting into pump head and an extendable hose that hides inside the pump. I have found that the hose actually makes it a little easier and safter to pump up tires as you don't have to put so much force into pumping and you are also not having to brace the valve stem with your other hand to avoid ripping it off. And - don't forget that SmartHead allows for either Presta and Shrader valves.
Also, with a max pressure of up to 90psi, it would also give you enough pressure in a road tire to get you home in a pinch.
Light, with a cage mount, presta or schrader and works really well - now you don't have an excuse not to carry a pump.
The 2nd generation digital gauge that reads both presta and schrader valves and runs off of one CR2032 battery.
LCD display reads in psi, Bar or kg/cm.
Reads very quickly and I have found it especially useful when using my older road pumps with pressure gauges that have seen better days. Was quite suprised to see my old pump's gauge was about 10psi low.
Would be a nice accessory to take with you on race day where you may not room to take floor pumps with you - at least you know you will have consistent air pressure if you are as finiky about tire psi as I am.
Pocket Shock DXG
Shock and fork pump that delivers up to 300 psi.
Well built and very sturdy, features include a rotating hose, engage/disengage valve knob with an anti-air loss knob and an air release button. Pretty much all the features you need in shock pump.
Preliminary results are good - pump action is very good and I have seen only minute air loss when removing the pump.
another tuesday, another westlake training crit.
race started out casual as usual, then picked up after the start/finish on the first lap. nothing of note went down, until a few laps later when i got into an early break.
the group was a little bit bigger and eventually the pack would catch back up. figured at some point a break was going to go, and it would probably involve jim b, so i focused my efforts to staying up front and near jim.
another small break goes and i sit back and eventually i would take some harder pulls to keep their gap in check. about 100 feet from catching them, i back off and wait for the attack.
a few laps later, i roll through the front and am sitting towards the front - then it goes down. rob rolls off the front seated and hitting the pedals hard, jim makes quick work up to close the gap. i hesitate for a moment, nobody chases - and i decide to go. heart rate hits about 185 as rob kicks again and makes my life painful... we hit the first corner and i on their tail, i look back and matt is about to catch us. robert would also eventually come up as well.
with the group established, we are all pulling through pretty good, but then a car comes on course and causes us to slow down. at the front again, i pull after the first corner all the way to the 2nd corner at around 31mph. gap goes up again.
robert cracks, matt is not feeling well, and it looks like the field is attempting to chase. i decide that hard fast pulls between corner 1 and 2 were going down every lap until the field decides to stop chasing or the gap goes up. with 2 to go, the gap is good.
rob leads it out from waaaay out, jim sitting 2nd, me in 3rd, matt in 4th. jim comes around and takes the win, i close the gap on rob but he beats me to the line - he takes 2nd, i grab 3rd and matt is close behind in 4th.
nice way to wrap up a tuesday night before the rain hit.
and i did officially get new 53/39 rings a week or two ago, but at this point i am not going to jinx myself with new road gears.
next up - this weekend, hmmm... deciding on a potential first for me in a long time. i see a potential real deal non-training race criterium in my future....
10th place at the Lumberjack 100. Here's the down-low on how things went down...
1rst lap started on the road, hella speed into the parking lot bumping elbows into the first section of single track.
Soon, a group of about 20'ish or so of us would form off the front of the field, putting in some serious gaps on the others.
Ripping through the first 33 miles was surreal, we would drop a few, but for the most part we were all riding about 5 feet apart for the first lap.
Through the start/finish, pace shot up as riders got quick feeds. I tried to keep up the pace, but the leaders had a gap I could not close. Time to settle in with another rider who I raced against in Arkansas, Kip.
We ripped up most of the lap together and parted ways up the steep hike a bike section, I would roll into the end of my 2nd lap alone after slowing down a little and going through a little bit of a rough patch as the heat set in. About 4 riders caught me in the start finish... Damn.
Caught them all pretty quick, but Kip got by me and was rolling fast and would eventually finish 9th on the day.
I rolled by myself for the most part, looking forward to the cold Coke and water at the mid-way point at mile 17 on the loop.
Refreshed, I pedaled on, but felt some slight twinges of cramps in arms and legs. Luckily, they stayed away - for the most part.
Closing miles had one rider in front of me that looked like he was a little cooked. I got around him, just in time for the last climb and decided I would jump on the pedals one last time around the switchback starting the last climb.
Out of the corner, stomping on the pedals, and I catch sight of Eddie and another rider in hot pursuit - but I don't think they saw me. Time to stomp a little harder on the pedals. Immediately my legs and arms start to cramp and my lungs scream from the little bit of asthma that hit me around mile 70. Time to suck it up and get over the climb.
At the top, around the last bend of the climb,I glance back - I got a good gap on my chasers that are nowhere in sight.
Would finish up 10th on the day with a time around 7:15. And just to note, that my time would of got me 5th'ish about 3 years ago... you've got to earn your finishes these days enduro freaks. Fields are bigger and faster, and I think the racing is a lot more fun these days with the big fields and top notch racers.
as, tuesday night worlds at westlake.
got in an early break that was brought back and then rolled off the front after andy went down hard and then rolled off again with a small group later in the race.
gap went out quick, looked good, but one thing was missing - paul.
with field gasping for air, paul muscled his way up to our break with about 1/2 lap to go. somehow i managed to keep my position and tucked in nicely to come up with a half way decent sprint for 5th. good way to wrap up the day.
next up, the lumberjack 100. 3 laps at 33 1/3 miles. mostly sandy, small rollers with no real climbs. excellent single speed course that will be cool this year as opposed to the hella hot of all the years past.
will be searching for a good result and to get the monkey off my back from last years dnf at this event after smashing my knee into the ground - which did not feel to good as i had recently just came back from a broken leg.
with that, time to get in a short spin and get packed up. see you in michigan.
big bear was setting up to be an epic battle, nick waite teamed up with jeff schalk - and a few other teams joined up fast guy forces to make the top 3 spots hotly contested. it was not going to be a race to hold back on.
pre-ride on friday was great and course conditions could not be better - was the best conditions i have seen the course in years, guessing that the mini dry spell we had the week before really helped. it was going to make it a fast race.
rain came in after the pre-ride and more rain came early the morning of the race, but nothing to really change the conditions.
dave would start off first. gun went off, dave was at the front with the leaders. awesome. i went back to start gearing up.
not 10-15 minutes later, dave is running back. not awesome. looked like the chain jumped off, landed on the outer plate of the derailleur and when he pedaled, it basically torqued the upper derailleur bolt so much that it actually snapped inside the derailleur.
not thinking straight, we yanked a derailleur off a bike, got it going and sent him on his way. in hindsight, i should of either given him my spare bike or i should of went out.
so, dave went off in speed. on the downhill about 1/2 way through the course, he cut a tire. not awesome either. he would have to run about 6 miles.
far back at this point, my mind was determined to do some fast laps. my race at this point was to try to better my lap times.
first lap was fast, but my garmin decided to turn off - later i would change the "auto turn off" "feature" on my garmin.
dave's next lap was 1:04.
my next lap would be 1:03, dave's was somewhere around 1:08'ish - no doubt due to a ton of running.
i would wrap up the day with a last lap at 1:02.
not the day either of us planned and from the lap times we were turning, we would of been mixing it up with 1rst and 2nd - as odd fate would have it, nick also cut a tire and lost major time.
at the end of the day, stuff like this happens - it's racing and it's going to happen. better to get past it, enjoy the event, get some great fast laps in to hone up for the next event, eat an awesome bbq sandwich and drink a few good pints of brew.
i'll be back in 2012 to get the mechanical monkey off my back. also, need to get the word out to race organizer mark that he needs to get a solo class in this event.
course for the big bear 2x12 is running that same as last years event, only this time it is a lot drier.
ran hit yesterday and today, with some being expected to hit tomorrow. either way, the course is holding up great and it looks to be an epic weekend.
nick waite has teamed up with jeff schalk so the pace and speed of the race is going to be blazing.
i will be teamed up with fellow ohio rider dave walker who's sure to turn out some super fast laps.
time to rest - tomorrow time to race and enjoy some post race brews.
tuesday night, another westlake worlds event went down. heat was high and so was the speed.
paul got a gap with about 15'ish or so other riders - jayson and i tried to close the gap, got real close and the efforts from mohican was just too much to close the gap at 20 feet. jayson got to within about 10 feet and popped as well.
back in the pack, heart rate went down and the gap went up until bob and i decided to pull the entire field back to the break. consistent steady pulls got us to within 5 seconds and then the field decided to finally work with us and pull back the remainder of the gap.
but - as soon as we closed the gap, a few riders snuck away from us.
laps would tick off, we couldn't close. a gap formed on the last lap in the s bend section with shawn pulling hard. i jumped the gap, pulled with him and we distanced ourselves from the main pack and would work with each other to just hold off the main pack at the line for 6th'ish and 7th'ish. nice work at the end to pull something off, but i still think i need to get some new cranks and rings as the 50 tooth big ring is not cutting it at westlake.
next up - big bear 2x12 where i will be teaming up with hella fast ohioian dave walker under the team name of "team liger" as it is pretty much my favorite animal.
and - good luck to all my two wheeled road friends this weekend as well - ohio master road champs and a hella long road race up in michigan this weekend at 128 miles. now, if that was on dirt roads, it would be real fun.
Straight shot out of town, up the $200 prime hill where two riders went for it. They both sat up after the sprint and the lead group reformed. I looked back before the last few rollers before the first single track section and the group of 15'ish or so I was in already had a gap on the rest of the field.
Into the first section of single track, things started to thin out and by the time I got out onto the first short road section, my Garmin 500 turned off. Awesome. Guess I left it on all night, so the next 90 or so miles would be without no heart rate, distance, temperature, etc. Maybe that was for the better.
Into the first hella hike section and out of the park and into the fun roller section of single track with nobody behind me in sight. I started picking off riders and making good time.
Caught a group of 4 or 5 riders on top of the roller section and proceeded to pull away from most of them, taking one rider with me. Through aid 1 and through aid 2 we would roll along.
Right before aid station 3, I gap the rider with me and come up hot on a turn - not initially seeing a sign or marking, I stop about 30 past it in confusion. Mike catches up to me, we decide to go "this way" after some initial standing around and proceed to start riding again. Some 5-7 minutes later, we are right back where we were previously. I am guessing I lost somewhere around at least 10 places and 10 minutes. Frustrating to say the least, but my head was down and I wasn't fully paying attention. My bad.
I roll on, catching a few riders here and there, and catching back up to riders I had previously dropped.
Onto the long rails to trail section, I am in a small group and we start rolling through pretty easy. Half ticked off at myself and half giving up, I roll easy after pulling through with decent power a few times with nobody putting fourth any effort. 15 or so minutes of this, more riders roll up and sit in. Finally, rider rolls off the front easily and I do the same, eventually getting a gap with another rider. 3 of us would roll into aid station 4 together.
In and out of station 4, the three of us continue on and we would eventually split apart on the rollers heading into station 5. I grab a quick coke and roll on.
Through the little rollers and the hella steep climb where I flatted last year, and then into the final sections of single track. The heat was kicking in pretty good at this point, so it was good to get into the single track shade.
Would eventually roll in first on the day.
Time to forget about the missed turn and concentrate on the Big Bear 2x12 and the Lumberjack 100 - but not before Tuesday Night worlds tomorrow night.
good gap with a few laps to go, then shawn a few fast guys powered up to make a solid 10 man'ish group.
power was thrown down, i put down some efforts then was countered, regrouped, re-thunk and then sat back until the last lap.
andy took the first corner at speed, i stuck on his wheel and we had a HUGE gap. that's what she said...
at the next corner it was all but gone, even after pulling at 28mph.
guys popped off, i managed last in the break again - about 7th'ish. still convinced it's my gearing, so watch out when i actually get a 53 ring on....
in other news, mohican is up next, and so is a mention at cycling news HERE!
last year i had a slight mechanical with a broken spoke early in the race which eventually lead to a flat tire right after aid station 5 which eventually lost me probably at least 5-7 spots. they are monkeys i plan to get off my back this year and for some odd reason i am feeling an extra obligation going to go hella hard.
it's ohio, it's a 100 miler, free ohio beer to all finishers. looking forward to the pain.