Saturday, December 27, 2008

Riding in Joshua Tree NP

The views were great but it was too cold for much picture taking (38 degrees). The park has one main road, ~50 miles from one end to the other, the speed limit max is (supposed to be) 45mph. If you plan to ride here, try a weekday/non-holiday. It seems to be a pretty popular place, the road has no shoulder and visitors are focused on picture taking, not cyclists. Most drivers were very nice and waited to go around, but a few rude ones tried to pass with on-coming traffic, scary.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Training and Fudge

What to do? Answer: Move to Sunny California for the winter. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and lean meat. Stay away from Christmas parties. Right? What if it rains, snows, freezes, the wind blows, and your Mother-in-Law sends a tin of awesome fudge, a box of homemade cookies and two bottles of wine? Well then I don't know. What did Todd do? Went out and bought us each one pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie FroYo and coffee. What about training? Now is the time to get on a training plan and stick to it as much as possible. You will be very happy come springtime. Check out these pre-built training plans, they work.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High School Race Teams

SoCal and NorCal Interscholastic Cycling Leagues are great programs which introduce XC Mountain Bike Racing into schools as a standard sport. Sunday Todd and I attended a SoCal High School Racing Camp. I am not sure how many schools were represented, but there were ~17 kids and quite a few coaches. The league had run the same day camp in a different town (different kids and coaches) the day before.
The day started by dividing the kids into different ability levels, the kids then moved from clinic to clinic, took a break for lunch, then rode the trails with plenty of adult support.
As the kids ate lunch Todd and I were able to ride with two of the leaders as they scoped out a potential race course for one of the High School events. They were searching out a safe and fun route. As we came around one turn there was a long hill that was pretty intimidating (completely rideable but something that would make most racers hang their heads and switch to granny), they immediately said "Nope" and turned around. I love promoters that really think of the racers, in this case a lot of new, young racers.
In the picture Joy (fellow pro racer and high school coach) and I are getting ready to ride with the kids. I look forward to doing a high school clinic with Joy's team Jan 11th.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to save a quarter pound

Look what I'm getting Todd for Christmas. Scrub Components, 56grams for 160s and 42g for the 140. Half the normal weight. Plus they have a pigtailed girl saying "my brakes are lighter than your brakes", I had to get them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2009 Race Series

What we have been waiting for: the 2009 Pro Tour schedule. 2009 USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour presented by Sho-Air International: March 29: U.S. Cup – Fontana, CA April 19: Sea Otter Classic – Monterey, CA May 31: Bump N' Grind – Birmingham, AL June 13: Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic – Colorado Springs, CO August 8: U.S. Cup – Mount Snow, West Dover, VT August 15: Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain, Windham, NY September 26: USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour Finals, Las Vegas, NV Also released was the US Cup East and West (California) My plans are to race the West US Cup and most of the Pro Tour.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nov/Dec = Start Training, 1st things 1st.

This is the time of year to get a bike fit, put together a training plan, figure out nutrition, etc. Basically get it all together for a solid winter of training. Bike Fit I started by having Eddie O'Dea (55Nine Performance) check my bikes. While I always suggest a good bike fit for other riders, I may have started to believe I know more about how my bike should fit me than a fit system does. (I had Eddie mark everything so I could move it back to "the way I liked it".) However, the Dartfish video analysis is pretty impressive, I can now see how I pedal (watching the playback in slow motion). The explanation of the Wobble-Naught fit makes even more sense when you can see it working, I don't think I'll be moving anything back. The best part of this fit is being able to talk to Eddie from the road. Asking questions and having him review my pedal stroke via video will assure I am applying the pedal stroke properly. I used the new information during the 6-hour SS race in Gainesville to keep my leg muscles as fresh as possible as long as possible. Of course I could only apply the technique during the sitting sections as I was on a SS. I had a great race, a faster time than I expected and my legs never thought about cramping. I am now back to base training and concentrating on pedal technique. Coaching No shock here, I'll just do whatever Lynda says. It is nice to know I will not have to worry about anything coaching wise. Nutrition Another new resource I am taking advantage of is Namrita's nutritional knowledge. To start with, I filled out a few fitday pages, Namrita analyzed my intake and gave me recommendations. I look forward to working with someone who has a nutritional education (and access to all the latest studies).

OK, I haven't posted in a while.

After Mikah's Homecoming I: - Rode the MTB trails at the Marine Base in NC; - Visited my brother Dana at UT (Knoxville, TN); - Rode with Thad and hung out at the Yazoo Brewery in Nashville, TN. Scored more Swiftwick socks; - Rode in Amarillo, TX; - Saw Todd and family in Santa Fe, NM. Traded Todd the van for the "House", waited out a quick NM blizzard; - 2-day drive to CA (trainer ride somewhere in AZ, 17degrees outside); - Arrived CA in 85degree weather; - Rode in CA the next day in a snowstorm and 30-something degree weather ???; - Watched TV as CA fires destroyed homes, rode with smoke in the air; - Watched the 12 hours of Temecula race; - Felt my first earthquake; - Attended a benefit dinner for a cool program that is introducing MTB XC racing as a school sport. Some random pictures in Facebook.