Tag Archives: racing

Sundance Niceness

2 Jun

# 7 in the 12 race Intermountain Cup series, Sundance now marks the spot on the calendar where one can see the end of the mountain bike race season. It left me feeling a little melancholy if not a little slow or maybe everyone else is hitting their stride and just getting faster.

This picture shows the only time of the race where I would be in the lead, the first 100 yards.

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I quickly fell back to about 5th before hitting the tight single track where I lost sight of Chris and wouldn’t see him again until the finish.

Trying to pass became the the theme of the day and I think having a good passing strategy would have payed off big time. My strategy went something like this, I approach a racer in front of me and ride their wheel for a minute making sure they know I’m there and most would just pull over. If my riding their wheel didn’t communicate the fact that I’d like to get by then I would say in the most polite way imaginable, “whenever you’re comfortable can I get by?” I think I erred on the polite side of things.

Then there was racer “X” who after riding his wheel for 10 minutes and asking repeatedly in the most polite way imaginable if I could get by, I even made it clear I wasn’t in his class, finally says to me, “take it if you can.” What? Really? OK, dickhead. I didn’t call him that or say anything but muscled around him in a corner nearly taking both of us down.

Why? I don’t get it. Every single other racer I passed, and there were dozens and dozens of course because I’m speedy you know, went out of their way to let me by. I guess I shouldn’t complain since I only had one problem but that one dickhead really pissed me off.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot because I got all worked up again writing about it but I ended up 3rd running a 34×21.

Draper ICUP #6 Stan Crane Memorial

28 May

Someone asked me before the race how I thought I would do.  I said, “I have no expectations.”  I am such a MOFOing liar!  Of course I had expectations, I wanted to win.   I kept telling myself that I had no expectations in order to calm myself and enter into a Zen state of mind that I like to be in before the start of any race.  It’s the state of mind that does not do or think or stress or care.  It just is.  I can get there pretty easy and like to stay there for the start and part of the first lap of a race.  I sometimes have a hard time getting back to the race.  On Monday the water crossing woke me to the fact that I was in nearly last place.  Screw Zen, I gotta pedal.

Base camp.  With an extra 4  hours of waiting due to weather and course changes I was glad to have the shade.   I also went through 10 gallons of CarboRocket.

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My favorite Carborocket addict.

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Alex,  I know you have to say Monavie but I know what’s really in your bottle.   Your secret is safe with me.

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2-live crew.

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The man, the myth, the legend.  Ken the Draper trails mastermind.

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1st place finish for newest CarboRocket addict, Senor Stark.

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Way to rock it Tasha, you’ll get them next time.

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1st, 3rd and 2nd respectively.  Nice work girls!

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Rick, your gloves are white not camouflage.

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I must say the new Vassago team shorts look really good even with the over color coordination I have going on.  Thanks Vassago!

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I’ll take 2nd to Chris any day.  The dude was on fire and could not be denied, congrats!  Bob, you are looking way too comfortable in the tweetie chair.

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Thanks to team Revolution for the killer cheese burger after the race and all the ICUP volunteers for putting on a great race.

Rampage Roll Call

4 Mar

I missed out last year due to illness which was a bummer as it’s not only the 1st race of the series but one of the best race courses of the whole Intermountain Cup.  You know, you’d actually go ride the race course as a fun mountain bike ride unlike say, 5-mile pass or Cholla which are only good for racing.

Here’s Cassidy my 11 year old tearing up the course.

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Who’s in this Saturday and what category are you racing this year?

As for me I’ll be duking it out (hopefully, as opposed to puking it out) with the expert 40 + boys.  My race plan is simple:  Beat Bob.

ICUP #6 Stan Crane Memorial Race Report

30 May

I’ve been flying high for the last 36 hours. The rush that comes with winning a race is a mighty fine feeling to have. The rush that comes when you AND your significant other win at the same race, well, that is some sweet sweetness for sure. I wish it upon everybody.

Before the race I had duct taped the words or affirmations, if you will, “Beat Bob” along with “Win Susan” on the front and back of my jersey before the race The purpose was twofold, to hopefully, spur me on to dig deep for a good cause and to psyche out Bob. Why single out Bob with the duct tape message?

  1. He won the last the expert class race so, he was an appropriate target.
  2. I knew he’d enjoy the attention.
  3. I knew I’d enjoy the attention.
  4. I really wanted to beat him.
  5. I really just wanted to wear pink duct tape.

It worked.

The affirmations were just part of my winning strategy. Because I ride Clarks trail several times a week I felt like I had the home court advantage on the downhill. Also, the Vassago Jabber Wocky totally feels like an extension of my body, it handles so well that I’m pretty sure I could have done the downhill blindfolded . I knew If I could beat everyone to the top of the climb and hit the downwhill first then there was no way anybody was going to hang with me.

Yes, I was feeling “it”. “It” doesn’t come around often enough.

Chris Bingham tried very hard to foil my plan but my affirmations were just too powerful, he flatted just as we started the downhill and that was it. I didn’t see anyone for the rest of the race.

I had drained one water bottle on the first climb and got a little concerned as I lost my second water bottle on the first descent. Didn’t need it, didn’t need food, didn’t need anything. I was fueled by endorphins. I was so giddy by the time I crossed the finish line that I lost all decorum (yes, I had some, once) and was shouting,”I won! I won! I won!” and pumping my fists in the air and slobbering all over myself and anyone that got too close.

Great race and great friends. I’m pretty sure I enjoy hanging out with friends and meeting new people before and after the races more than the races themselves. Maybe.

5 Mile Pass Race Report

5 May

Neither Tasha nor I were too excited about racing 5 Mile Pass on Saturday. Tasha pre-rode it a few days before and proclaimed it a terrible race course. It didn’t help that she and Whitney got lost and did a hike-a-bike that was twice as long and steeper than the one they’d be hiking on Saturday.

I was questioning the wisdom of doing a long, notoriously brutal XC race only a week after the RAWROD spectacular.

Of course, we went anyway.

Tasha and Dot battled back and forth for the lead most of the race and then Tasha flatted and lost a chain. I think she did great still pulling off a 5th place finish after all that. I also take full responsibility for her bike problems. I should have known better than to Stans her wheel the day before a race. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb!

It’s amazing how calm and relaxed you can feel right before the start of a race when you have no expectations. I also had a good excuse already formulated if I did poorly.

We had a pretty good group show up which lowered my expectations even further.

I knew it would be a long day so I tried to sit in but I tend towards impatience (imagine that) and decided to jump out front. That worked for a little while until we hit some downhill sections. That would set the tone for the rest of the day. Other than Fred who put a good gap on me on the first long downhill I yoyo’ed back and forth with Bob for 2nd and 3rd position most of the race.

Bob finally dropped off (thankfully, as he was really putting the hurt on me) on the 3rd lap but then I had to contend with Chris Bingham and Glenn Adams. They kept getting by me on the downhills and I couldn’t gap them far enough on the climbs. I ended up 4th.

I’m pretty happy with how I did as the flatter courses, which I struggle with, are now behind me for the season and I can look forward to the steeper, climby courses that are more my cup of tea.

BTW, Whitney Pogue who finally moved to Sport class promised before the race that if she won she would move up to Expert. She won by over 13 minutes, how bout just jumping right to the Pro class?

Cholla Challenge Race Report

13 Apr

Epic…camping. We arrived at the race site about 8 pm on Friday night to what felt like 100 mph winds and people folding up their tent trailers and heading back to town to find a room. We grilled brats inside the Yotavan on the stove while the wind howled and the dust and sand coated everything. I went upstairs to the tent condo while Tasha and Cassidy slept inside the van. It felt and sounded like I was in a washing machine until about 12:30 am when it died down and I finally got some sleep.

Cassidy was the first to race and stacked it up pretty good on her 3rd lap in the 10-12 category but finished anyway with bloodied knees and elbows. She rocks!

Tasha thinks she finished in 5th but isn’t sure. She is however, sure that she enjoyed grilling brats in the van more than she liked the Cholla course.

I lined up in the Expert 40+ category with the singular goal of beating Bob Saffel zero expectations other than to finish.

Things went how they usually go for me which is to say I went out way too hard and blew up on the 2nd of 3 laps. I had notions of soloing to a win after finishing lap number 1 in first place but that quickly disappeared as I got passed by just about everyone on lap 2. I thought I was done, cooked, baked.

I hung my head and pedaled on feeling like I was completely alone out on the course. No one in sight in either direction. I got off my bike towards the end of lap 2 to pee and stretch out a hamstring that was hurting. Nobody anywhere.

I started feeling better on lap 3 and began catching people which was a great morale boost. Off in the distance towards the bottom of the last climb I thought I spied a Revolution jersey, a carrot, and thought it might be Bob which gave me another boost. I caught up to him and he said if I passed he was getting off to pee. Sensing his discomfort with his bladder I obliged.

36 miles, 2.5+ hours and 3rd place.

Some observatons:

The dork bike rules! Loved everything about it.  It motored on the climbs and felt like a full suspension bike on the downhills. Really.

One porta-potty just doesn’t cut it.

I’m pretty sure everyone was drinking CarboRocket.  It was everywhere.

UtRider Mark in real life is much taller than on his blog.

My nemesis Kenny Jones was MIA and I wasn’t sure how I would cope without that carrot. Turns out I had eight other carrots.

Cholla Challenge Revisited

8 Apr

I did this race a few years back and it was hot, long and miserable. I ran out of water just before the last of 3 laps and ended up snagging a bottle of some red stuff from Cris fox. I chugged it as I was parched and knew I wouldn’t finish without it but as the liquid hit my lips my stomach started to churn.

I finished the race but could barely drive back to my parents house in Washington. I spent the next few hours alternating between flailing around on the floor and hugging the toilet while puking GU and red stuff. Everyone had to leave the house, I am very noisy and I was making everyone nauseous.

Last year was also hot and miserable. Kendra, my 12 year old, also finished her race but got so dehydrated we had to take her to the emergency room for an I.V.

Why am I so looking forward to this race this weekend? Weatherman says it’ll be hot. It’s going to be long. I’m sure it will be miserable. I can’t wait.

It’s my first big mountain bike race of the year. Tasha and kids will be there racing and sharing in the misery. We’ll be camping and cooking brats on the fire at night and bacon and eggs in the morning. Lots of good friends will be there and I’ll be getting worked over on the dork bike. Yeah, I can’t wait.