Monday, April 12, 2010

Weekly Update, MTB racing finally.

Crazy week. Awesome weather last weekend, rain waited till Monday for a change. Riding over to the Tuesday Nite Crit, the rolling clouds were quite ominous looking. Zero wind (at the start anyway) so that was a welcome relief after the previous week. This was the first Tuesday Night with the new Cat 1-3 only in the "A" race format. Plenty of opinions flying around about that. My opinion means nothing anyway but the end result was not even debatable: Must faster since the field was smaller and there wasn't all of that unessessary pack movement going on. It lined-out from the gun and the first 20 minutes were the fastest of the year, maybe fastest avg speed i've seen in out there in a while. ZERO wind and NO rain up to this point. That all changed very quickly. The wind really picked up and the echelons started. I was in the wrong place a couple times and eventually lost contact. The rain drops started and I was near the back when a lot of guys started sitting up. Starting heading home west on Prairie Star when the real rain hit. Just about had to swim the last 2 miles home. Wednesday's Hill Ride was a small group since the weather didn't look promising, but the rain split completely around us. Wind was another story. Just riding over was a challenge. The headwind blowing up Renner was insane. I ride down that on the way over and I had to work just to keep moving down it. First climb was OK, Tom Bondurant took off and easily went over the top well in front. I came over with a couple other SKC guys. It all came back together at the lights on Midland. As we turned right on Renner, that crazy headwind I had coming down it was know a very stiff tailwind blowing up it. What a great opportunity to RIP up this thing. I took off at the bottom where it's still flat, and was pretty surprised how fast I got going with the wind at my back. I must have hit 30 before the road tipped up. I think I caught everybody off guard a bit. I was still going pretty quick as Renner crossed over 435, but the legs were on fire for sure.
Trails were still closed all last week so I could only use the gravel path around Lake Lenexa to test the new tire setup, WTB Vulpines. 475 grams is significantly lower than the 700+ Specialized full-knobbys I had on before. Since the trails are closed when they're wet, why have knobs anyway? The Vulpines are not tubeless-ready and it was a challenge to get them inflated. Plenty of Stans required to seal up the beads and the entire sidewalls. They still lose pressure significantly overnite but I can deal with that. The course out at Sundays Lawrence River Trails Race is pancake flat, 100% single track, super twisty and fast. My 40-49 cat 1 field was small but the 30-39 group was a good size. I got the holeshole in my group, then started picked off the guys in the 30-39 group that went before us. Made it up to 4th I thing. We cranked out some quick sub-16min laps initially. I managed 4 good laps but the 5th lap was sorta survival mode. Everything hurt at this point. Tom Price, leading the 50+ cat 1 group, went by started lap 5 and left me. Fitness was good and the tires worked perfectly on that course. Hadn't did a mtb race since last summer (or ridden off-road much this year for that matter) and it felt like it. I was back out there yesterday helping out Chris Locke at his Off-Road Duathon. Perfect weather for the weekend. Let's see if the weather holds out for BoneBender next week.