Monday, April 30, 2007
Warm-up consisted of riding with the first race of the day, the B race. Mike and I stuck to the back of the pack and tried to keep from getting sprayed in the face from the riders in front. About 3/4 of the way through the B race, I began to worry that maybe I wouldn't have the legs today because I was having a hard time keeping up with some of the accelerations with the B's. Surely the A race would quickly shell me out the back.
About five minutes after the B race the A race started to immediate attacks. With a fairly small field I felt obligated on many occasions to reel the attacks in despite the fact that there were several obviously stronger riders there. I'll chalk it up to my inexperience and being a sucker. Live and learn. During the race there were three premes. The first would be for a cool SMCC hat (the sponsor team), the second $5 (not much but when the entry fee is only $10 its not so bad) and finally one series point. When we got the bell for the first preem (hat) I had no intention of going for it but coming down to the final 200m I found myself in perfect position so sprinted in for a fairly easy win. After that it was mostly paceline type stuff with a few attacks that would be quickly reeled in. Nothing too strenuous but still a pretty tough tempo, especially coming out of the corners.
When I heard the bell for preme no. 2 I didn't hear what it was for but was banking on the $5 so I immediately decided to go for it. Coming out of the final turn before the sprint I found myself in poor position leading everybody out (rookie mistake) so I soft pedaled for a bit to see what would happen. I started to hear things happening behind me so I kicked into gear and went as hard as I could. Quickly, though, I caught a glimpse of someone pulling up on my right hand side. I didn't think I had everything left in the tank but I dug a bit deeper and kicked it up a notch. Unfortunately, the guy on my right kept coming and I thought for sure I was going to lose to him. With 10 or so meters to go it became clear that we were going to cross neck and neck so I immediately started thinking about all of the sprint stages of the tour I've seen and how they always do the little bike shove as they cross the line to pick up the added few inches. I had never attempted this move before and really didn't know how to do it properly but at the last second performed it perfectly (in my mind at least, I'm sure it was ugly for the few spectators) and nabbed the second preme by 6".
Totally blown, I decided to play it safe for a while and try to recover. Thankfully for me, soon after that Mike made a move off of the front with 12 laps to go. Not wanting to help reel Mike in, I sat in as much as possible and soft pedaled when I was at the front trying to give both Mike and my legs a break. It ended up working with Mike coming in a solid minute ahead of the field. For the final sprint I once again found myself in good position right behind a strong cat 3 rider who started the sprint from about 200m. I pulled around him at about 100m and thought by god that I had a chance but with 15m to go two guys blew my doors off with perfectly timed sprints for the line. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Next time I'll wait a bit longer to go for it.
All in all I think it was a pretty successful day for a guy who doesn't consider himself a real sprinter. Of course we'll see what happens next time when the rest of the field is there! Back of the pack I'm guessing. Either way, it'll be fun.
As I mentioned last week, I picked up the El Mariachi. Of course, the trails are a water logged mess so it'll be a while before it sees any trail time. Thankfully, since its also going to be my commuter, I had picked up some Schwalbe Big Apples when I bought it so this weekend I mounted those fatties up so see how she rolled. I bought the El as a complete build and its almost identical in spec to how I spec'd out the Dos. Weird but handy if I ever need to swap parts plus if I buy extras for a bike, they'll work on the other as well.
First impression, the El fits me perfectly and feels well balanced. Its a bit portly compared to the Dos Niner but that is to be expected with a steel frame and ebb. Of course once the gears and other crap are pulled off it will lighten it up significantly.
The bike came with Ignitors which I love (and will use on the Dos) but for now the El will be rolling with the Apples and eventually, if the trails ever dry out, I'll mount up the Panaracer Rampages. The Big Apple tires are freakin huge! They are labeled as 2.35's and I'd guess they are all of that, talk about volume. One the winter worn roads around here the combination of 29'er wheels and big ole slick fatties did the trick to smooth things out. I could plow through just about any rutted section and not worry. These same sections on my road steed would have been downright terrifying. Suprisingly, despite the extra weight that the Big Apples carry, the bike seemed very efficient on the road. Usually I like riding my mountain bikes on the road about as much as I enjoy watching Dr. Phil but this combo seems really smooth, efficient and fun. You won't find me taking this to any agressive group road rides but it'll be perfect for winter commuting and urban type rides.
More info to come as I get more time on her. For now, I've got a big stupid grin on my face.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Saturday, April 21, 2007
We've got a beautiful weekend on the way with temps approaching the 70's. At first I was pretty psyched but it seems that little B has given me her stomache virus. Thanks B! Instead of saddle time this weekend it looks like I'll be getting plenty of porcelain time.
Monday, April 16, 2007
The moto rapido now resides in the helpful hands of our friends at Bikeman awaiting shipment to merry ole Chicago. While I was there I got to see my future El Mariachi (as soon as I get the coin scrapped together that is). Beautiful curves and just waiting to be ridden hard.
Speaking of beautiful, I caught a look at the new bikeman winter jacket. Freakin sweet! Windblock outer and a soft fleecy liner. Super comfy and probably pretty warm too. This would make a great christmas present (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
A couple of days ago I listed the Moto Rapido up on MTBR and as of this morning, it officially belongs to someone else. The cashola is in my pay pal account waiting for me. Now I just have to get to the shop and ship it out. I almost sold the fuel today as well but it looks like that one fell through for now. Now I just need to get the fuel and van dessel up on MTBR and I'll be in business. MTBR's classifieds kick ass by the way. It only costs $2 (with no commission) to list an item and you can post as ton of photos no problem and they don't seem to have the spam people trying to suck you of money. Use them. I'm now very close to ordering the El Mariachi (yay!)
Expecting the crappy weather to come, Marcy, Brynna and I went out for a ride on Saturday, soaking in the last of the sunny weather. B is really starting to like riding in her trailer and can now tolerate her helmet so things are looking good for some daddy/daughter spins this summer.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Speaking of chamois’ I’ve got about five pair of shorts with the chamois falling out (I suspect the massive power I produce blew the stitches, or maybe it’s the massive gas, one or the other) and my mother has graciously agreed to fix them for me. I made sure she realized that she’d be working in an area that sees some serious cheek and scrote time. She seemed ok with it though as long as they were well washed but maybe I’ll throw in an exorcism too, just in case. In a couple of weeks I’ll be able to use all of my shorts again, hooray for me.
In more interesting, less disgusting news, I ordered my race wheels for the season the other day. It’s basically the same build as last year with Hope P2 hubs, db spokes and alloy nips but the rim choice has changed. I’ve decided to try out the Stans Arch rims. They’re about the same weight as last years Delgado Disc rims and the Bonty rims I was also considering but the big difference is that with their special bead hook, its much easier to run them tubeless without having the tire bead fail and you don’t need to use the conversion kits to get them to work, you just put in some Stans juice, pump it up and you’re ready to go. That’s the theory at least, we’ll see how well it works. If it doesn’t work, I’ll throw a tube in and I’ll be running the same wheels as everyone else, no harm done.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Also, in breaking news, I've reached my goal weight for the season! Since New Year's I've shed 12-ish pounds and am now back to the weight I was at in high school. Back when I was a scrawny bastard with a hella sweet bowl cut. This puts me a full 10 pounds lower than I was for most of last season and at least 5 lbs lighter than I've ever been since I started racing. It will be interesting to see how this translates in my riding. I would think that at a minimum, my climbing will improve since I won't be schlepping that extra weight over each climb.
Monday, April 02, 2007
In the distance you can see the final climb of the day. My parents live at the top of it. Its a mile or so long with the first portion hovering in the 10% range than the final 1/2 mile easing out to about 5-6%. A real nasty way to end the ride. No cool down for me!