Thursday, March 7, 2013

1 race down and 9 months to go!

It is amazing, only the first week of March and already the first race of the season is done.  Many more months to go till November and I will have a schedule up on the home blog soon,

Pre-ride went pretty well, with how technical the course was I swapped out some skinny raceface bars for some wide next sl’s.  Also, Kenda hooked up some new tires which showed up at our cabin where we were staying in Texas the night before the race, so I got to rock Kenda karma’s and test out my skills this new sponsors rubber.  This course is nothing but broken and jagged rock with dirt mixed in here and there, with so many riders with flats on course I was really glad I went with something so super reliable!


So race day last Saturday and it was time to see how my a demo bike I just jumped on and my indoor trainer only fitness fared against the best in the nation, although the field consisted of many well beyond our borders just looking at the start list!  UCI C1’s attract so many International teams.


Start went well and I kept the effort in check knowing I would pay dearly for too much effort in the red zone since I have had no efforts there so far this year, although not being on the front leaves ya blind in a cloud of dust on a Texas course.


Conservative racing only lasted about 1/4 a lap.  If you know me on the bike or off, I am an “all or nothing” type of personality.  So after the first major  climb I was pretty blown up and needed to recover for a bit.  I started reeling people in the last 3 laps but a ton of damage was done in the first 2 with me going way too far into the red.  Plan was to use my strength in threshold power that I know I have right now but that plan suffered a bit, not sure it is really a practical way to race a UCI C1 mountain bike race anyways, since these mountain bike courses are full on bursty climbing followed with recovery by UCI regulation.


So 38th and a mid pack finish with a few kinks to work out for early season racing.  Came in with no expectations and was able to learn a ton about racing the 1st week of March and how to prepare for next years season opener. 


I want to thank  everyone who has made this great early start possible.  RaceFace, Kenda, Powerbar, Champion System, Concord General Store, SNR Remodeling, Dr Mcgillicuddy, and Kona.  You guys made this trip possible, so thank you! 

Next up on the Pro XCT circuit, Fontana and Sea Otter! 

Stay Tuned and remember for faster updates hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+

Friday, March 1, 2013

And so it begins…

Anyone who follows my twitter or facebook posts knows that “it” began about mid December last year with all the Cycle-ops uploads every day, but that first ride on the trainer in the basement back in December was looking forward to this weekend and the next couple of days of racing at the opening Pro XCT race at the Mellow Johnny’s Classic.

It has been a crazy past 24 hours, yesterday I got one last ride in on the trainer with pretty much my first VO2 max/2 min type efforts followed by a couple 15 min lap simulations just to prepare the body for what is about to come. Jumped off my bike, took a shower, finished packing and out the door at 5 pm from my home town in Oconomowoc WI to meet up with my buddy Scot Nyland from SNR Remodeling out in Madison, WI.  From there we headed  to Iowa City, IA. We crammed all our stuff in the RaceFace reps (Matt Knowles, also All Spoked Up & Norway) suburban and started the long trek to Dripping Springs, Texas.  With Nate Knowles tagging along to get some early season racing in, he passed out way before me on the back seat, and being the nice guy I went looking for somewhere to sleep and not bother the kiddo.  Looking for anyway I could to get some good recovery sleep in on the 24 hr drive down laid out some jackets over the bags and bike stuff in the back and dazed in and out, Nate was nice enough to swap mid morning though and I slept into the afternoon.

Sleeping in Suburban

Around 8pm we arrived at our destination, got unpacked, and Matt went straight to work getting my bike dialed, a demo bike from Kona who was nice enough to borrow to us for the race till we get setup later in March.  This guy has been up for almost 48 hrs and first thing he does when we arrive is tells me to get  my shoes on and starts swapping out my Race Face Next SL bars and  fitting me etc…  Talk about dedication to the cause!

matt fixin

In the dark with headlights working on set up! 

I was all apprehensive on the way down about having a bike I was not familiar with at all.  Luckily the He He is a sweet ride and within a few minutes I was rippin around the yard feeling like I was ready to race this machine!

I don’t have any expectations for the race at this point in the year, I have literally been on a trainer all winter, but I have been doing big hours and my power numbers are better than ever at sub-threshold and race pace.  We’ll see how one can fare amongst the best in the nation straight off the basements of Wisconsin!   It is early season and like most the focus is further down the road, but best way to get ready is to open up with those you plan to be racing well with when peak time comes.

That is all for now, need some sleep, will update after pre-ride tomorrow. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Season Finale

2012 is about to be gone, so I'll catch up on the final races of the season.  Beginning in October I did my first cross race of the year, and my second ever on a cross bike.  Somewhat new experience, but really meshes well with Mountain since we are on the dirt.  I just fit right in, started competing for the front of the race pretty quick.  Was on a borrowed bike and had a few issues with dropped chains and odd positioning/setup for my preferences.  Even  with a few problems I was blown away by how much I enjoyed the race.  I was so pumped up and excited afterwards somehow I find myself finding a new Cross bike sponsor.  Bike pics to come soon.
Then it was onto a double header weekend that was the muddiest sloppiest weekend ever in my experience of racing.  Saturday was Peak to Peak in lower Michigan.  High 30’s and pouring rain!  Sloppy mess and no brakes at all half way through the first lap.  Since the course is very sandy everyone’s brake pads were completely gone after 1 lap I was not having the best day, pulled the plug after 1 lap and  the race was called after 2 as it was such a mess out there. 
Next day was the WORS season finale in Sheboygan. It had rained the entire day prior and all race day.  So here is what the race looked like most of the course. 
Nice shot of the mess in’s write up.
And a little Vid one our new team members shot.

I had  amazing legs but just kept making big mistakes that cost tons of time in the mud.  I was taking bad lines forcing me to run stuff I could ride twice as fast and I had quite a few crashes, which is not like me at all in the mud, but I was in chase mode from the start.  Into the first single-track I hit a stump that was buried in mud, so from there I was taking bigger risks than usual.  Sometimes this pays off and sometimes it just makes the gap bigger. On that day it was the latter,  I fought back for third and a good paycheck for the day still. 
Pro/Cat 1 Awards Sheboygan
We all washed off in 50 degree’s and raining afterward in the lake!
After Sheboygan I was not sure about Iceman, took a week off and then got a little motivated.  Did a few intervals and went for a chance at the $, but also to meet up with a bunch of people in the industry, thank sponsors, and grow Vision.  The start at the Iceman is everything and I knew mine was not going so well when I found myself shuffled behind a Fat bike in the PRO field!  I chased hard and almost latched back onto the lead group, but quite a few mistakes were made in front of me in the 1st single-track and from there it was game over.  I didn’t have the best fitness going in anyways and I would have had to have a royal flush in terms of the dice roll on race day to pull off my goals.
As far as the WORS series, the overall result was just short of my goal, but an improvement still.  2nd overall is not too shabby, and with a major illness mid-season I would say it was all I could have pulled off with the cards dealt.  Here is my interview from the Banquet.
Since Iceman and the first big snow here in Wisconsin I have spent a good amount of time on my 616 Fabrications Fat Bike fully decked out in RaceFace and their new Fat Bike crank set(s). I want to thank them both as sponsors for making this happen.  With winter being so long here and so much time on the trainer it is awesome to get out and a huge resource for training as nothing indoors can simulate the needs of race fitness like an off-road ride!  I am continually amazed at how this frame rides more like an XC bike than a traditional Fat Bike.  Absolutely fly’s through the layers of snow on the trail right now.  Can’t wait to race it a few times to get the legs ready before  my first Pro XCT race coming fast early March in Dripping Springs, Texas!
Even with the fat bike, on the bitterly cold days I am still doing quite a bit of riding indoors, had a promo video and commercial made around that theme recently.  Well done to Marty Tank on these productions!
That is all for now, leave ya with a few shots we did of the Fat Bike on a sunny day after the first big snow.
fat bike
fat bike 2
Fat Bike 3
Happy New Year!