Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hibernating Blog is Awake!

2010 Northstar Livewire Classic (Photo by Wil Smith)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Peavine Challenge (Photo by Nick Lee)

Early wake up call Saturday, May 30. It was time for the Peavine Challenge, yep, the second race of the Nevada Cup XC race series. The one MTB race where I can roll outta my downtown loft, pedal 15 minutes and be ready to throw down at the race venue, which happens to be on my regular after work trails. There are two caveats with this ordinarily great situation, the first is it's hot as hell with no trees, well, actually there's three of them. The second is that it's every other local MTB racing tool's after work trails as well. That means there are some pretty heavy rivalries to deal with, and some beatings to be dealt and received to and from those that would be fellow cycling pals on any other day.

So, after popping up and getting a large breakfast down my throat, listening to some of the new Brutal Truth record to get my blood pumping a bit, and dialing in tire choice on the Marathon Carbon Pro, I'm ready to rock. The race starts off fast as hell, on the Peavine connector trail, then settles into a gut churning pace up a 45 minute or so climb on the first of two 13.5 mile laps. I'm feeling pretty decent and enjoy the high heart rate up the climb. Ben Ragains passes with one of his teammates (Nate Freed), with the "Reverend" Dustin Sweet quickly creeping up behind, where's nemesis John Hurley? Uh oh, I see em down the trail a ways, KEEP GOING. Get up on the Toboggan run descent, not too excited, because I think this piece of trail sucks. Up a short climb and down the Femur-Buster singletrack, some kook has his dogs on the trail, and one of the mutts won't move outta the way, I swoop around, phew. I hear the Rev cussing behind me at the dog owner ha ha, better him than me I think to myself. Into a nice long stretch of descent into Evan's Canyon. Hmm, who's up front, it's hard tail Ragains and his buddy who both destroyed me on the climb. I quickly approach them in the rocks and they courteously let me by so I can get my flow going in the the twistys. I know they'll catch me again on the next climb and put the wood down, but it's all good. I come through the start area for a fresh cold bottle before another painful climb. Ragains and Freed arrive shortly after, then the Rev, then uh oh, Hurley. We get into a groove up the connector again for another 45 or so minutes of doom. Hurley yells out a loud LEFT at me like a roadie on a bike path. He jumps in front and we roll over to the Keystone portion of the climb. The hardtails take off, then myself and the Rev. The Rev passes about halfway up the climb, I try and get into a good groove. Pro downhiller Jon Wilson arrives behind close to the top of the climb, he also passes and I try to keep him in site for the remaining climbing pain. Damn, I shouldn't have told him about those anti-cramp pills, because he obviously took them before the race. Settle into another descent, with Jon at warp speed taking a huge gap. I've gotta keep him somewhat in sight. We get down to some false flat into the finish and there he is hammering out in front. I growl and give it one last attack up some climb into the last short descent, no dice, Jon's gone like he's on a 250. Finally finished, with a 5th spot for myself in the 30-39 Cat. 1 with a time of 2:03 flat. Wilson next in 4th, then the Rev, Scott Leland, and Kyle Dixon in first to round out the top 5 30-39s. The legendary Kyle Dixon actually had the fastest time of the day at 1:53:55, no surprise, thanks for recently dropping down to Cat. 1 Kyle! I believe I was 10th overall since local pro Ken Burt, hardtail Ragains and his buddy and fast roadie, Nate Freed, 20-29er Cat. 1 Sacramento shredder Clinton Claassen, and fast single-speeder Chris Schultze were each in front of me as well. Props to Cat. 1 ripper Amber Broch for again slaying all other female contenders on the course, and most of the lower Cat. dudes! All in all, an entertaining event. We chilled for a bit and then headed down the street for burgers and cold suds. A large Great Basin Icky refreshed my quivering limbs and the rest is history.

After checking out the sweet new Saint James Infirmary in Reno later that evening, I quickly found out my pickup game and general demeanor were as flat as the earth in the 1400s. It was time to go home to my bed because the next day we were to rip shuttle runs on one of the sickest trails in the world, the Tyrolian downhill. What better taint recovery the day after a long XC race than ripping big bike runs on a smooth and sticky 2000' vert drop to Diamond Peak ski resort. After six shred sled runs, it was time for Black Butte Porter and smack talk with local bros. GOOD TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This strange thunderstorm pattern has arrived for the week, the singletrack is flowing and will continue to do so.......................................................................................

In fact, this just in from local weather/singletrack forecaster Mark "Straw" Roberts: Special Weather Statement: Lake Tahoe & surrounding areas, single track advisory is in effect until further notice. Expect traction to be almost near perfect at times with heavier amounts of speed in straight aways. Total amounts of fun will vary depending on what ride you choose and who you ride with. Go fast, take chances & air it out whenever possible.

Word Straw, I'll make sure and adhere to this advisory every day of the week!

Special thanks to the hard working Scot Ferguson for making the Peavine Challenge happen and as always, I'd like to thank GT Bicycles for the finely tuned Marathon Carbon Pro!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Ashland Spring Thaw (Photo by Wil Smith)

What do you know, been a while since the last post once again! There's been quite a lot of racing and riding action to report on throughout this month though. To start off the first weekend in May was the Pinenut Cracker at an OHV area in Gardnerville, NV (just down into the valley from South Lake Tahoe). After drivng down 395 with racing pals Scott Leland, Amber Broch, John Hurley and Dustin Sweet, there were brutal 30mph winds and a course consisting of over 35 miles with little climbing (which translates to crap descending) through a forest of small trees. I got pitched off the back of a group about halfway into the race, the rest is history, that will not be written about in any books. It got my starting points for the Nevada Cup XC series though and some bicycling fun in the forest. The next time I visit those trails in G-ville will be on a CR450.

The next couple of weeks after the Cracker were spent getting back in touch with some of the sweet singletrack that's been buried in snow over the winter down in the southern part of Reno as well as heading up to the Ashland Spring Thaw! As the third race of the GT Golden Bike Series, I was excited to get up to the Thaw and check in with the glitz and glamour that GT has been throwing down on the grass roots level this year. After a mellow drive Friday afternoon, myself and some fellow racing pals Scott Leland, Amber Broch, Jon Wilson, and young ripper Greg Rea II settled into the Ashland Hostel . The XC race started Saturday morning in Lithia Park located in downtown Ashland, a perfect start for a race. I met up with fellow Dirt Coalition racer Ivan Anderholm, who had made the trip all the way from Hermiston, OR. The race went off hard from the start up a paved road and then on up through the Ashland Watershed on a series of semi-steep fire roads for about an hour or so. At this point I was able to connect up with several other guys for the flat, rolling section of the course that took us counter-clockwise in a loop back around towards the town and sweet downhill section of the course. It was full road race action, guys yelling to ROTATE THROUGH! Ha ha, so far, we started with a hill climb, then a road race with the fork fully locked, and then a super d style rip down some twisty fun. Except by the time I got to the descent, my legs were stiff and close to a full cramp, uh oh. I'm familiar with this downhill from doing the great Ashland 12-mile Super D a couple of times. But damn, was having quite a time getting the flow going even with the sweet new Marathon Carbon Pro! I finally made it to town though, in 1:56 and some change, good enough for 9th in Cat. 1 19-34. My boy Leland took home 3rd and Amber crushed the other women for a Cat. 1 win, props! I met up with Ivan at the GT Demo trailer to chill for a bit. That's when I met Louis Angeley, that dude is killer. He told me to bring my bike over for some love. In full cooperation, I swung my trusty Carbon Pro into the tent and left it for the afternoon while I headed back to the hostel to get cleaned up and grab my DH bike for practice with my Reno clan. As I arrived back at the tent, I was quickly blown off by some skirt clad GT cheerleaders. I would have been bummed hadn't a shiny new GT rig been waiting to be claimed. Yep, just like the day it arrived a couple of months back, brand new, thanks Louis!

After a couple of practice runs on the oh so sick downhill course and a fun night at the Stepping Stone Brewery with too many pints of IPA to count, I was able to rest up for the downhill the next day. We got out there early, and I dropped in for my first practice run. Almost to the end of the track and my front tire popped, arrrrrrggghhhh! I hiked back up the course instead of just rolling it and heading back up the side fire road. This was dumb since I dodged racers ripping down in their practice runs and blew more energy out of my quivering legs. Finally got to the top, and found my good friend Bill Smith who happened to have a tube with him, SAVED! I dropped in again and ripped a good run. When I got to the bottom, there was an army of racers waiting for the small shuttle trucks to arrive. I said screw it and pushed/pedaled back up to the race start, my legs screaming at me the whole way. By the time I got to the top, practice was over and the pros were getting ready to let it fly. I waited around in the hot sun trying to get as much water down my throat as possible. Finally it was go time, called up in order. I let her go quick but conservative since I like my collarbone intact thanks. Well, my run ended up quite mediocre, hey, I'm not saying I didn't push it as hard as possible, but the gas tank was empty. Damn those event organizers for putting the XC before the DH, well, at least make an all mountain class. I was 9th again in the same Cat. 1 class, but will be back for revenge at the 12 Mile Super D in a couple more weeks!!!!!!! The pro downhillers threw down some super quick times, Mark Weir setting a new course record with local fast guy Nathan Riddle only a second off of his time for 2nd place! To make matters even more intense, my boy Jon Wilson was only a second off of 3rd, and he ended up 7th, keep in mind we're talking about a relatively long course of 1.7 miles!. Local Reno pro downhiller Casey Coffman claimed a 9th spot in this stacked field of singletrack slayers while the young Greg Rea II fell short of tearing holes in the other Junior Cat. 1 racers with a blown corner and broken hand. Here's a photo from the DH by my friend Wil Smith, I'm having trouble getting any XC photos rounded up, I know that there have been people taking photos at all the XC races I've done so far this year, but where are they? All in all, a GREAT weekend shredding trails with good friends near the beautiful town of Ashland, Oregon! Huge thanks to GT Bicycles and Demo Manager Louis Angeley for the support. Also, huge thanks to local Reno mechanic Bill Smith!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

OK, just so I can finish out the month with another post, then on to May. April started out great, got dialed on my new Marathon Carbon Pro, local singletrack smooth and shreddable, first race of the year.......... Uh, oh, the first race, BRUTAL! Napa Valley Dirt Classic back on Sunday the 5th. You know how you think you're going fast and feeling strong before you jump into that first XC race? Then you find out again about the WORST feeling of pain in the world! At least that's how it was for me this year (like every other year), but I did get to experience it on some ripping fast singletrack in the wine country. After a weak showing at the Dirt Classic, I was primed and ready for the next beat down, the Sea Otter XC and Super D.

Well, the weekend after Napa, I ended up coming down with a heavy duty case of the flu of the non-pig variety. My lungs were full of sludge and I was feeling low and slow, straight up Houston style chopped and screwed, wanting to get up on that lean. My plans were to take off the Thursday before the event with some fellow bike riding pals. After missing Monday and Tuesday of work, I knew my chance was getting very slim to offer myself to the Sea Slaughter ) :

All said and done I ended up off the bike for two and a half weeks after my first race. Just last week though I was able to jump in on a couple of evening club races and am feeling quite good once again. The first race of the Nevada State Championship XC series is Saturday, the Pine Nut Cracker. This race is fantastic! Lots and lots of burmed goodness in a Pinyon forest fed directly into my hungry soul. Rain is in the forecast though, and the race is long at 35 miles. It's going to be a long day, but a very good one indeed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oh yeah, I've gotten out on the new GT Marathon Carbon Pro each day after work this week. The bike is sick! It climbs perfectly, descends very nicely, and feels tight on my local singletrack! Yes, back on a GT!

I'm gonna try my luck at the the Napa Valley Dirt Classic XC this coming Sunday, will be the first race of the year for me. I feel pretty good but it's always quite a shock to the system getting those race legs back 0 : Thank goodness I'll at least be enjoying some twisty Norcal goodness while the legs and lungs are being punished.

I can't wait to meet up with all the fellow Dirt Coalition racers. What a great program, I am so thankful to be chosen and am excited for all the racing, rides and good times on the trail coming our way!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Racing adventures will be posted here!!!!!