Sunday, April 08, 2007
Man I'm liking the dirty side of bikin. The racing is way more different and all the people are really cool. There's no sneakiness, mind games, or anything else; you go your pace and if it's faster than someone, you pass them, and they accept it. In road biking, there's all kinds of tricks you can use to make others work for you. Plus others have a major influence on the intesity and pack dynamics. In mtb, you basically decide where you are going to end up overall by either pushing harder to catch and pass someone, or just staying away from the next person down the trail.
So the race: All the experts were sent off together, then they called us, the single speeders, to the line. At first they mentioned having us wait 40 seconds or so, but then they said well let's just send them off now. "8 seconds till start!" Holy crap! Not ready yet. They send us off and right away Tim O'Connor(last name?) from Bike Masters flew away from us like he had a big ring or something. I later came to find out he was using a 32-16! That's a pretty tall gear for those sustained climbs on the course. I would've been toast on it since I was hurting pretty good with my 32-18. So I decided to stick with Nate and Mark. I figure, hey I'm in 4th, maybe Tim will blow up since he's going way too hard now and maybe I can outclimb Marks far superior technical abilities. So I'm hanging with Mark and we catch up to the Experts that are spinning up the climbs since they have 5 laps and we only have 3. Nate gets around them pretty quick on the first climb. If I had known it was possible to pass 4 guys at a time, I would've hopped on his wheel. However, I didn't feel comfy trying it. Mark passed the 3 Expert guys on another section right before the technical single track tree stuff. So I was stuck behind them. Not so bad since I could barely keep up with them in the trees since I have yet to learn how just let go of my brakes and dig into the corners. Well on the next uphill section that was wide enough, I passed the guys who were in it for much longer than I cared to be. I knew from previous rides in the week that I have a good 3 laps in me on the single speed. I'm going to have to work on my core and leg strength to push it hard for much longer. Basically after that, I tried to catch up to the others and I did finally pass Nate, but Mark and Tim were just gone. At one point I was only 15 seconds behind Mark, but that was right before the last time into the tree section. His overall gap on me at the finish line was a good 45 seconds I believe. So yeah, I got some handlin skillz to learn.
Overall it was a blast despite the freezing weather. I think the cold had an affect on my teammate, Ryan Legg. He had his sweet Titus full sus bike with I9 blingaliscious wheels. Well, blingy, yes, ready for cold, no. He was hanging in the top 3 of the expert guys (amazing to me how fast these guys were even on lap 5), his freewheel stopped engaging. So he'd try to pedal and his cranks would just spin as if he had no chain. So his race was done after just a couple laps. He asked me about it later and I figured it was either a very small piece that might have bit it, or the grease in the internals was too sticky. He took it to the shop and found out it was the grease. For some reason, manufacturers like to use some really thick grease that makes little parts slow moving in the cold. I've never understood that.
So that's all I got for a fun day in the freezing sun. The pic above I stole from CVOs blog. That's ma bike (a la Forrest Gump). Thanks CVO, for providing a pictorial representation of the fun on your blog. If you've made it this far just reading my boring report without many interesting images, I'm impressed.