2 race update

First race update: Whiskey Island, this past Sunday


First cross race of the year, and it was a tough one at that. Hella winds on the cement backside, a small sand pit, twist and turns and a few logs. It was going to hurt.

Gun went off, bumping of elbows quickly ensued and a few twist of fates and bad lines from other riders got me up towards the top 6'ish within the first few corners.

Soon we would have things stringed out with a high pace that had most of the field behind and chasing. Paul, myself, Matt and Steve were all in the lead group.

The pace was high, then somewhat slowed down which brought a vicious attack from Paul and he quickly got a gap with about 4'ish laps to go. I tried to chase, but was quickly countered. Hmm....

Matt attacked, I chased for a bit, then sat back. Steve immediately jumped and got across, but it was on the cement section and the wind was at my back. I caught back on quickly.

Back and fourth, then finally Steve attacked and I decided not to chase. Game over unless I could out tactic Matt at the end.

Matt would gap me, but I caught back up to him in the sandpits near the finish. Coming over the logs, I pinched through the barriers and the course markings and got around him. I would take 3rd but get relegated to 4th as I was "out of bounds" for going over the tape in the last corner. Hmmm...

Second race update: Westlake worlds, yesterday
Last race of the Tuesday nighters for me as I got a work thing going on next week so I thought I would go out with a little bit of a bang and try to get as many points as I could.

Every lap was sprint lap, snagged a couple right of the bat, Dave came by me on one other, then I went into stealth mode and snaked out 3 more sprints going from a long way out.

Wasn't the easiest thing to do and it left me a little sapped for the last sprint. Had decent position, but Bob lit up the lead out sprint from waaaaaaaaaaaay out having us making up ground with the line coming up fast - too fast in fact. Shawn would be 5th, I would be 6th.

So, looks like I will wrap up the season in 7th at Westlake Worlds for the year. Had a great time hitting up more races this year compared to last, and I hope to make it out to the majority of them next year.

And - congrats to Dave as it looks like he has wrapped up the overall win for the year.

Ernesto out


IB2011 - TRP

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TRP introduces an update from their RRL Alloy called the RRL SR. The same basic features of their older lever (push button quick release is very nice) but saving a whooping 5 grams compared to the standard levels, but definitely has a "wow" factor look to it.

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And the talk of show for cross season is the introduction of now allowing disc brake use on cyclocross bikes. So, one has to figure out a way to run standard road levers running standard cables and have them operate hydraulic lines.

Hence, the TRP Parabox which is run below your stem. Have to admit, from photo's I saw before the show, it looked a lot bulkier then what it really is. Weight is around 450 grams for the setup seen above which includes the hose's and the brakes. Caliper up front is slightly bigger then the rear caliper and the pistons inside the converter are also different sizes as well. Setup is intended to give some modulation to the braking instead of locking it up when you panic and grab the levers.

All in all, weight doesn't seem that bad just for this setup, but I not sold on this yet as to run the who setup requires rotors and a bigger hub in the back... And don't forget a spare wheelset too. 135 wheelsets with a road style rim are not that common, especially if you want to run something higher end. Guess if weight is not a concern, this is a good setup - but I won't be running it any time soon.

Ernesto out.


IB2011 - Pivot and BH

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First ride of my 2011 Interbike adventure was the BH RX1 cross bike. Sporting a full carbon frame and a BB30 bottom bracket, the bike was quick, fast and very responsive. The bike felt solid and the geometry was dead on.

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The bike was sporting the older glossy Ultegra 10 speed shifting group, with a 36/46 front ring and a 11x25 in the back with a FSA Gossamer crank. Personal preferences would have me switch the rear cassette to an 11x28 for a wider range when in the big 46 ring (the rear derailleur is long caged and can handle it) and maybe a slightly lower weight crank. Otherwise, I have a fondness of the glossy Ultegra as it is lightweight and I feel it shifts just as well as Dura Ace at a much lower price.

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And don't forget the full carbon tapered fork up front, which helps to stiffen up the front end and to eliminate fork chatter under high speed braking. Tapered forks are just an absolute must on any high end cross frame anymore, and it's nice to see it on this bike.

Great riding bike, nice overall setup. Pull it out of the box, slap on some pedals and get ready for an hour of pain (or fun?) at your next cross race.

Next up - the new designed 429 from Pivot.

This new design saves about a half pound from last years model. (ya!)

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And is also sporting a half inch tapered fork. (Stiffens up the front end - awesome!)

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And, a 12mm through axle. (Stiffens up the bike side to side, especially when standing.)

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And finally, the new Fox Adaptive Logic RP23 Kashima shock with custom tuned rebound and Propedal settings. This new configuration allows quick access to the full maximum Propedal setting while still being able to select the other settings based on the course or riding conditions.

Very excited to see these updates on the 429 and the changes are awesome updates to an already great frame. These changes will make my 2012 race bikes even better handling and more responsive then the previous model and will put my race bike weight at under 23 pounds.


Interbike brief

Interbike2011 (38), originally uploaded by solo_goat.

OK, finally have caught up some sleep after crashing out for 11 hours after a redeye flight on Thursday night. Thanks to the little chick who decided that her huge boyfriend should sit in the middle seat on the flight back home so that all 3 of us would be completely uncomfortable. Awesome. Not.

Went into the show with some mixed feelings but went out feeling great about the upcoming year and having the chance to meet up with old friends and contacts and to meet with new ones.

It's ying and yang, white and black, all is equal. Things just have an odd way of working out.

So, heading out for a ride and will be hitting up some Interbike posts when I am back. For now, check out my flickr Interbike set and check back at the blog for some updates.

Ernesto out.

Interbike Flickr Set HERE!


Interbike day 3

Interbike2011 (0), originally uploaded by solo_goat.

OK, a few days late in the Interbike posting. Here's what has been going down so far...

Day 1 saw a beutiful day of riding at Bootleg Canyon which is just miles away from the Hoover Dam. Trails were sandy and fast as usual, with a lot of rocks and flat tires to go with it.

Had rides on the new Mamasita and Horsetheif from Salsa and a short ride on the BH cross bike. Pretty low key day of hanging out with the Pivot gang and walking around.

Day 2 saw us back at Bootleg Canyon. Heading out for the early 8am ride heading out to Lake Mead, the shower storms were looming in the distance. I snaked the early start as the ride started on the bike path which also doubled for water drainage and was littered with small rocks and wierd corners. Did not want to deal with that in a pack of riders.

Right before the turn to head towards the lake, I stopped to put on my Gore rain cape and it was just then that I saw the main group coming full on, race mode. Hmm..

A mile or so of people rubbing elbows with me on the wet bike path, we were on the road. Full blown attacks. Stupid.

So I backed off of the pace at the turn around point, but only after I had made the "lead group" and dropped almost all of the pack in the pouring rain.

And, oh ya, I was on the BH cross bike running a 46/36 front rings.

End of day saw me on the new Pivot 429. Rad - write up coming later.

Day 3 saw the first day of the indoor show, and a few new twists as they opened up more floor space on a lower level. Bike vendors were eagerly waiting, willing you to their booth. Ya, it's odd seeig a product that you immediately look at and know that it will never make it in the industry and having somebody trying to sell you opn it.

Affirmed some of my sponsors from this year, hopefully got some new ones for 2012.

With that, better run. Interbike day 4 and a late flight to catch.

Ernesto out.


10:15 on a saturday night

10:15 on a saturday night, originally uploaded by solo_goat.

And it's on the verge of yet another Interbike and the start of the cross season for me, even when the endurance season is not done.

Should be an interesting show, lots of new product out there.

Pivot has the new Mach 5 Carbon and the new designed 429 which shaves about a 1/2 pound off from the previous version.

Moots has a new 29er full suspension out.

Foundry is new to the market with 4 new carbon frames which includes one road frame and is teaming up with Whiskey which is offering up some very nice carbon forks, stems, bars and other great carbon stuff. The flat matte carbon looks extra kewl.

Redline has their new lineup of cross bikes out, this time carbon, bb30, tapered full carbon forks, internal cable routing for all cables, ability to run full cable housing for the rear brake and a special built bb housing with a hole for water drainage. Did I miss anything? Oh ya. You can run disc brakes.

New cross disc brake stuff is out out too, though I am not a big fan. Still too heavy in my books. And, since disc brakes are on cross bikes and all disc hubs run 135mm rear spacing, the cool new thing is to run 135mm rear spacing on the "new" cross bikes.

Hmmm. When did Ernesto start running 135 as his preferred rear wheel spacing? About 7 years ago. Jeez, the industry is finally catching up with me.

That's it, gotta roll. Going to be an odd Interbike, I just have a feeling. Here's to catching up with good friends who share a common interest - an obsession with a common interest of riding.

Keep the rubber side down friends - see you in Vegas. (And keep the brews cold!)

Ernesto out


Gore Bike Wear Product Review - Part 3 of 3

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen SO Arm Warmer

Designed with Windstopper soft shell fabric, these arm warmers are a thicker material designed to keep you warm and dry. Same gripper elastic is used on these arm warmers that is used on many of the Gore Bike Wear products, which is great as they are very grippy and help keep to keep the arm warmer stay in place - which will make them my arm warmer of choice this cross season.

Would typically run these when the temperature starts running below 55 degrees or so. Otherwise, I would run with the thinner designed Gore Ozon arm warmer.

Gore Bike Wear Ozon Leg Warmer

Fleece lined, but not overly bulky to stop one from packing it on a potentially cool late fall evening ride, the Ozon leg warmer is a nice option to add your cycling accessories.

Sporting flatlock seems to prevent skin irritation and pressure points, reflective materials near the ankle zippers and an anatomical fit, they are a great option for cool weather riding.

(PRO TIP: I actually prefer to run this type of leg warmer with a fleece lined bib during the winter as I feel that I get a more customized clothing fit as I have found it hard to find a proper fitting winter full length bib tight. As an added bonus, I like that my knees effectively have a double protection from the elements.)

Gore Bike Wear Product Review - Part 2 of 3

Next up in my Gore Bike Wear product review is....

Gore Bike Wear Xenon AS Jacket

Designed specifically for your posture, the Xenon is a tight race style jacket that is not designed for those who love to pack a ton of stuff in their back pockets. This jacket will keep you dry and is cut tight to prevent the extra fabric from acting like a wind sail and slowing you down.

It has 1 small back pocket, is designed with Windstopper material to keep you dry, has no hood and has an extra long back to prevent your backside from the elements.

One other nice touch is the velcro cuffs - which is a nice touch to keep the rain out and also to help regulate your body heat as well.

Gore Bike Wear Oxygen AS Jacket

The Oxygen has got to be one of my all time favorite wind and waterproof cycling jackets. No hood or pockets, slim cut fit and made of Gore-Tex Paclite material, the jacket is designed to keep you warm and dry when space is tight.

Jacket has a tight fit, with no excess material to slow you down and has an anatomical fit to prevent bunching in critical areas. It is designed to keep you dry when it's wet and to breathe to prevent sweating when it's not.

Oh, and did I mention that they even sealed up the zippers to prevent the elements from getting to you? Which is more then I can say for my "weather proof" backpack. Just a few weeks ago, I was caught in a severe rain and thunderstorm, so out came the Oxygen from my trusty backpack that also held my digital camera. A complete torrential downpour later, my upper body was still dry - but my camera was fried.

Enough said. I heart my Gore Bike Wear Oxygen jacket.

Gore Bike Wear Product Review - Part 1 of 3

This is the first of 3 Gore Bike Wear specific reviews - stay tuned for 2 more.

Gore Bike Wear Power Glove

Say hello to the Power Glove that is designed with foam and gel pad to provide cushion where you need it the most, along with a mesh top for ventilation and a terry insert on the thumb to whip off the sweat before you cross the finish line.

I like them a lot as they fit snug and are really help me grip well on the hoods/grips when they get wet. Also, the Power Glove has a great cut to them that does not dig into my boney wrists - very simple thing to overlook but one that makes a huge difference between getting through the extra miles on the bike or dealing with the abrasions on your wrists due to the constant rubbing from your gloves.

Gore Bike Wear Ozon Arm Warmer

Next up is the Ozon Arm Warmer designed with flatlock seams and elastic cuffs. I have been testing them all summer long in temperatures ranging from 55 (to protect from the chill) to 90 degrees (to protect from the sun) with absolutely no issues at all.

Awesome fit, cut and length are perfect, they never fall down and can be worn in a wide range of weather conditions. Great overall arm warmer.

Tech info: Gore-Tex Material, elastic gripper cuff.

Gore Countdown Socks

Nice, thin and tight sock with great support and ventilation. High length helps with ankle protection and protective layer for toes provides impact protection and helps reduce wear and tear - can't tell you how many "nice" pairs of riding socks I have that have holes in the toes. Not an issue with these socks.

Socks are left and right foot specific - and are marked as such (see photo above).

So far, so good with these socks as they have seen their share of 100 mile and endurance events this year. Holding up great and the ventilation helps to reduce hot spots I seem to get during long events.


Shenandoah 100 write up

shenandoah_100_results, originally uploaded by solo_goat.

6:30am Sunday start was the last NUE of 2011 season, and a decisive one for me as I had to place 9th or better and be ahead of Robert Marion at the finish to move me up to 5th overall in the NUE series.

Also at stake was the first place overall for Jeff Schalk and Christian Tanguy so the pace was going to be hot off the start.

And so it was.

On the first climbs, things starting breaking up pretty good and I settled into my pace. I seemed to be having some pretty heavy legs at the start and I was creeping further and further back, but with the humidity in the air and 95 miles to go it was going to be a long race.

So I pedal on and my legs start coming back to me and I am picking off riders here and there. When I was catching them, I wasted no time and rode right by not asking for any help in the effort.

I would catch Robert about 25'ish miles in or so and we would ride together for a bit, but shortly after aid station 2, I would ride away from him and another rider.

Soon after, I would get caught by singlespeed winner Gerry Pflug and we would ride together for a bit up to the short hike a bike.

I would then set off to venture on my own for awhile and also took a pretty good over the bars spill but somehow managed to not get busted up.

I would soon catch back up to Garth and a few others and then got my way back up to Zack. We took turns pulling, but he slowly inched his way away from me around the 5th feed station.

Right before the 6th feed, I see Mike Simonson on the side of the trail right after a sketchy downhill bleeding all over, mostly from his chin. The medic was with him already and told me to go on, but medics were rushing up the hill. Bradon's dad was heading up the trail too and for some reason seeing somebody I knew in the middle of nowhere kind of threw me mentally off and I was not watching the trail and hit a rock full on at full speed, making a small cut in the tire.

Off immediately, I put in a tube and continued on - guesstimating a 3-4 minute loss of time.

Climbing, climbing, climbing and nearing the end, I decided to look back. All I could see was a black jersey and I didn't know if he had caught site of me (I later found out it was Gerry and Garth) so I took off with about 7 miles to go.

With this effort brought cramps, but it also brought into sight another rider in front of me.

Nearing the top, I catch him, but I softpedal so he doesn't hear my freewheel - and 15 feet from catching him, I jump on the pedals.

Two small rises after, the downhill starts into the camping area. I carry a lot of speed and try to focus on not wrecking stupidly. I would wind end up 10th on the day - 1 spot short of taking 5th overall in the series.

Still happy with how the series turned out for me - I had a lot of fun racing "shorter" endurance events this year and I am already looking forward to next years NUE series.

solgoat out


09.02 update

100_3058, originally uploaded by solo_goat.

so, i have been slacking a bit on the posts as of late, but here goes.

past few weeks at westlake worlds have been tough ones to say the least. two weeks back, it was the first race in 2 or 3 weeks and the speed has definitely jumped up a bit.

things came back together at the end, my head was in the sprint, but my legs weren't. the only thing i think i was successful at was blocking bob from a good sprinting line. my legs were just feeling a bit heavy and didn't turn over.

this week, looked like we were about to catch paul, bob and shawn at the end. i sat back and watched them go, thought about making the jump but then thought of the shennandoah 100 this weekend and thought the better of it. i made a little dig at the end, but nobody came with me so i was a sitting duck just 40-50 behind the 3 man group. sprint would just miss catching them...

so i have been catching up on odds and ends, planning next years sponsorship, planning interbike and a new blog site... it's been a busy few weeks.

now - i am heading out to shenandoah, the last of NUE 100 milers this weekend. i am currently sitting in 6th overall. things go well, i stand a chance of 5th which would be super hella cool. if not, 6th place in the series is pretty awesome considering the depth of the field in these 100 milers.

better run - stuff to pack.

sologoat out