Lady luck lost & returned…

Well the Firecracker 50 didn’t exactly go as planned.  I finished lap 1 of 2 at 2:20, 27mi in total– thats 2mi longer than the 2010 course, and 7 minutes faster for those keeping track.  And from reviewing the splits, that put me right in the middle of a field of Cat 1′s that all live above 5k feet– nice.  Then way up the mountain, well into my second lap– I gave 1 of my 2 spare tubes to a desperate guy in need.  Fifteen minutes later, I was the desperate guy in need.  Descending flume trail after the infamous Little French climb, I cut a sidewall, and stan’s wasn’t going to seal it.  And the spare tube I had with me…. well, it was a dud.  Plain & simple.  I had to cut the course to get to an aid station, fix my flat, and ride back home– for a total of 48 miles of riding.  I still had fun, and I’m excited to go back next year.  Lesson: check your spares and make sure they’re good.

climbing... which is pretty much all you do when you ride mtb in Breck

how can this not be fun?

To make myself feel better, Tuesday morning July 5 we awoke early to journey to Winter Park just after the lifts opened– yes, I did it.  Despite my claims to earn your descents, I had a BLAST.  Wow.  Rox & I, with April & Todd Eyberg, got over 9k feet of descending in and nearly 40 miles of riding– without climbing.

someday with a bigger bike....

Drops (small-ish ones), jumps (yep smaller ones), and bermed corners…. I was loving it.  I took a few opportunities to keep pace down a few easy black runs with guys on DH bikes and body armor…. and that was all the pushing I needed to do.  Super fun.  I will be back.  Hopefully this year.

We came back to Omaha Wednesday to a whirlwind of race promotion and preparation. We pulled into our house at about 5:40pm, and by 6:15pm I was hiking Lewis & Clark with lopers to clear the trail.  Sent out some publicity, helped those with questions, then Rox & I, along with Dale & Danna, spent a few hours Friday night shuffling waivers and bib numbers getting ready to handle riders at 3 events over the weekend.

To the chase: I lined up at L&C TT unsure of my form, worried mostly about Jesse Bergman and Noah Marcus.  I took few risks on the downhills, and tried to crush every uphill until my lungs burned.  I had more leftover at the end this year then I did last year.  I beat Jesse by 18 seconds and everyone else by over a minute, with a time of just under 21 minutes.  I’ll take it.

I flatted in literally the first half mile of the short track– an event I was also hoping to win.  Next time.

Time for XC Sunday…. lots more faces on the line… Clarke Dolton, John Rokke, Nate Woodman, Jesse Bergman…. guys that had been beating me handily earlier in the year.  This was going to be hard.  I was too busy making sure the event went off without a hitch to think much strategy, other than it would be hot, and that I should drink a full 20oz bottle per lap.  At the start I went out hard– not ridiculous, but I thought it was almost on par with what Kent & Cam usually subject us to.  No one jumped on my wheel.  I worked every climb to try and get out of sight.  I came through my first 9mi lap in about 37 minutes, with about a 40 second gap.  And adrenalin drove me right past my cooler of cold liquid.  One mile into lap 2 is a bad time to realize that when its 110 heat index.

Time to settle in do some damage control– its a long race, and I’m less then half way, and there’s a lot of fast guys not too far back.  They slowly reeled me in, and we came in to finish 2nd lap as a group of 4: Dolton and Rokke right behind me, Bergman flew by and into first place.  Up the first climb, he seemed to fade, and I punched it a bit to get around him.  I wanted him to ride MY pace through the flat twisty stuff, not his pace.  Maybe it worked.  We took advantage of the open fast stuff to lose Clarke, and on the final climbs I pushed hard to get a gap on Jesse.  I came through to finish my third lap with over a minute lead.  Heck yes.  Did I just win a local Cat 1 race?  I think I did.

Although a few local horses were missing, it was very rewarding to race against guys that were pushing me to the end.  I had to be smart, and not think about slowing down, really, ever.  Very fun, and very rewarding to have good friends and great riders pushing me to my limit.

For 1:56 ride time, I averaged 170bpm, with a temp of 98deg and a heat index of over 110.  I drank constantly until 7pm, when I finally urinated for the first time since 10am.  I know you were curious.

stoked to race and win against these fast guys-- they pushed me to the end!

I have no idea whats up with my shorts– they were stuck to me.  As of Tuesday 5pm, my shoes are still wet from sweat.  Awesome.

Rox and I went out Sunday night for margaritas– since she had the opportunity to jump on the podium’s top step amongst a full female podium– a rare occurence at a Psycowpath event– keep it coming ladies!

Next up… starting a new block of training with the Omaha weekend’s road racing, maybe a weekend off, then Laramie Enduro, then more XC races… all leading to Dakota five-O!

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