Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
MA: We now have internet, cable, and air conditioning. (But no cell service or Starbucks.) Heather, Zeph and I are staying near Hancock, MA for the Kenda Fest next weekend. We checked into the Jiminy Peak ski resort this afternoon, threw our bags down, turned on the air conditioning and TV and really haven't moved. NY: Last week's ST (Windham, NY) was not great for me, I finished 20th with another blown fork, completely stiff, no movement whatsoever. I don't think the fork had much to do with what place I got; but still, two forks gone in two days of racing. I love these forks when they work, crazy light with an adjustable threshold on the lockout (you can easily adjust the threshold during the race). Once they get them tweaked just right, this will be the fork to get. VT: After the fly-in-and-race schedule for NY it was nice to have a week in Vermont before the National Championship race. This time we were in a 6 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 story ski house. Once again we were without air conditioning, cell phone service, or a Starbucks; and there was no TV service/signal. Luckily we packed DVDs so caught up on movies but now don't know what is going on in the world. Hanging out with the team and friends was a lot of fun; singlespeed Andrew found fun trails near the house for us and offered us beer every day. Blake kept everyone happy and the kitchen clean. Fork Fix: Thursday teammate Robert blew his fork and figured out a fix, so our mechanic for the east coast races, Ted (see picture), re-did one of my forks and Friday re-did the other. I took three pages of notes and now can do it myself. Result= 13th in the National championship race in VT and the fork was still working perfectly. I raced ST Sunday and placed 18th, not a great result, but they pulled super early and without warning. Given that I was feeling strong and hadn't started thinking about wanting to quit yet, I think I would have continued to move up (obviously I waited too long to get going). But most importantly, the fork is still operating properly. More details on the Vermont National Championship XC race: Heather, Zeph and I finished 11th, 12th, and 13th. We were getting huge cheers from spectators all over the course, especially on the techy downhills. I don't thing I have ever had that many people screaming for me/my team. My favorite comments were "You Kenda Girls Rock this Downhill!" and from spectator Marla Streb (when I said hi; surprised to see her watching us on the climb, not that she has a clue who I am) "Nice Smile". I guess I was smiling out there; Ted said I was smiling when I came through the feedzone. Probably because my bike was working (thanks Ted!), my legs were working (thanks Lynda!) and the spectators were loud. It was hot and humid, but luckily the rain held off. Actually one really loud thunderstorm hit in the middle of the night before the XC race. I bet every pro racer was laying awake wondering how bad the course was going to get and what tires to run. Luckily it didn't do much at all. Party: to celebrate we ate nachos & pizza, and drank beer & margaritas with Fuzzy and Dejay. We watched downhillers get out of hand at the Silo, fighting in the bar, breaking glasses and talking smack to our "crosscountry" table. I'll add more pictures later. Bad News: Sue Haywood broke her ankle on the first lap, hope she is recovering okay.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Another flat tire, somehow I cut a hole in the tread of the tire. Stans wouldn't seal it and I ended up having to put in a tube. With only 13 minutes to go in the race I spent 4:50 messing with and changing a flat. Of the girls that passed I was only able to pass one of them back. 21st in XC, I think, I didn't bother checking the results. I was not having an awesome race so I am not too upset, but still... It was a cool course though, especially for a climbing course. I didn't have a clue what to expect, but it was probably the most fun NMBS course (except Arizona of course). Each lap was basically a climb up the ski hill then twisty, techy singletrack (in the trees) back down. Instead of a long dirt road up it was bits of road along with bits of rocky singletrack in the trees. On the elevation profile it looks like a long, almost steady, climb up but mentally seemed like separate sections. There were ~12 new wooden bridges, some of them were built so the XC racers could ride over the downhill racers which was cool. We have a new mechanic for the next couple weeks, Danielle's mechanic, Ted. He was very patient with me and my blown fork frustrations. Plus he washed, tuned, fixed everyone's bikes. Thanks Ted! I am doing the team travel/lodging thing. Last night there were 6 of us in an efficiency apartment; only 1bed and 1 pull-out couch, but two bathrooms, one of which is huge. We arrived in Albany, NY Thursday night (after flying ALL day), rented a mini van and drove to Windham. We were able to pre-ride Friday; I blew another fork and decided last minute to race the Racer-X instead of swapping forks. We hit the grocery store in another town, Windham is too small for a grocery store (and Starbucks is 28 miles away), then tried to get some sleep. Our air conditioner iced up Thursday night and we didn't figure out what was going on so spent Friday night trying to sleep in a 83degree room. ST tomorrow...
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
In the last two years (while living on the road) I have been home every day (have slept in my own sleep number bed every night) with the exception of 4 days; those 4 days I slept in the van (our vacation home). Now because of fuel prices I am leaving "home" for three weeks and flying to the east coast. I need to find my suitcase, bike case, a kennel, figure out what I cannot live without and pack... It will be cool hanging out with the team. This weekend is the Windham, NY race. Then we move to VT; we rented a 6 bedroom house for the week of the National Championship race. After that the Kenda Fest in Hancock, MA.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
This was a fun week; short fun rides/getting rid of my cough rides.
Tuesday: night ride in Moab, UT (Sovereign trail from the RV park)
Wednesday: Durango, CO trails across from Wal-Mart up to telegraph
Thursday: Dale Ball trails in Santa Fe, NM (1/2 daylight, 1/2 night ride)
Friday: partial Santa Fe ski hill road ride
Saturday: social ride, singletrack and dirt road up to 12040feet (top of Santa Fe ski hill "the towers") and back down. 3.5 hours ride time, 5.5 hours total time.
There was a New Mexico Endurance Series race called the Santa Fe Big Loop 70-something miles, 14000 feet of climbing and a "non-official" Small Loop ride, 25 miles, 5400feet of climbing (basically the big climb up to the towers and back down).
The Small Loop ride started when and where the Big Loop racers were coming through (~2.5 hours into their race) which was pretty cool. Todd and I had fun riding with two small loop guys, David and Lawrence; we passed Big Loop sag stops and rode with some of the racers.