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Showing posts from June, 2013

CTS Epic Mountain Bike Endurance Camp

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What a treat - riding classic Colorado single track with an awesome group of people. Coach Adam invited Nick and I up to Breckenridge Friday and Saturday to join the ride portion of the Carmichael Training Systems Epic Mountain Bike Camp. This was a three day camp focused on endurance mountain biking, specifically the Breck Epic Stage Race, the Breck 100 and the Firecracker 50. This camp was more then just saddling up and riding bikes though. There was education on hydration and nutrition for long, epic events - always important especially at altitude and with multi day events. A presentation discussed the benefits of training with a power meter and how the data you get on a mountain bike differs from a road bike. (As a late converter to a PowerMeter, I would have loved to have gone to that talk!) And since most of the fun of mountain biking comes from getting to fly downhill, there were also skill sessions and video analysis of riding. A lot of information to cram into three days - e…

Simplicity

There is simplicity in riding a bike. Almost everyone grew up on two wheels, the bike a rite of passage and the first taste of freedom. Who doesn't remember hopping on a bike and just pedaling away? Life was simple. Life was fun. Two wheels and a helmet - that was all we needed.

It's amazing that something so simple becomes so complicated when we got older. No more just hopping on the bike and heading off for adventures. Everything is planned and plotted. Every detail organized, accounted for and recorded. We have computers that tell us how long we rode, how many miles we covered and how many feet we climbed. If you're lucky, the gadgets will also tell you how hard you are working and how fast your heart is beating. Every inch of the ride measured for later analyzing. It's all useful data for sure, especially when training and racing. I've been using a power meter for the last six months and I love it. It's really refined my workouts and has provided me with mo…

Mud, sweat and 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest

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For my first 24 Solo attempt, I wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be easier or harder than the frantic, Nascar style duo races Nick and I did together? Would I be able to keep my head on and keep pedaling for the entire 24 hours? How would I do against a stacked women's solo field, all of them with years of racing and plenty of solo experience? I still don't know the answers to the first two questions - but that is due to circumstances beyond the control of the race. I did find out how I would do in that group of experienced racers and while the race was shortened, I handled myself well and finished second. With Nick's help and the occasional pep talks, I rode the entire time we were able to ride. I don't know what would have happened had the race gone the entire 24 hours, but I am not going to dwell on the "coulda-woulda-shouldas." I raced what everyone else raced, under the same conditions as the rest of the field. Warning - the race report is long! …

24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest - short version

Wow. What a crazy day and super tough race at 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest. Congratulations to everyone who was out there and braved the wacky conditions. I took the plunge and raced solo in a stacked field, featuring former national champions in solo, duo and four women classes, as well as solo winners from 24 Hour Races around the country. It was a really close battle for the first 10 hours between the top three women, then the weather took over. Faced with lightening within a mile of the venue, heavy rain and rapidly deteriorating trails, the race was paused as of 10:26. Unfortunately, there were plenty of racers, including the top five solo women, still out on course. We all ended up donating a lap to the trail gods due to USAC rules. Then came the uncertainly as we waited to see what would happen. A 6:30am restart sent us back into the woods for the last 4.5 hours of racing. In the end, Nina Baum took first, I finished second and Rita Borelli was third. We all finished with 1…

24 Solo

By this point, I should be confident in calling myself a 24 hour veteran. After all, we've done 11 24 hour races in the last five years, from the competitive insanity of Old Pueblo to the laid back fun of Sage. Nick and I have survived many crazy things at the races, from the wild weather in Arizona to a duel in the sage with a leading SS team. We've also had the last minute death of a motor home and still been able to pull ourselves together and race strongly. But the key word with all those races has been "we" as in a duo team. I've only done the Nascar style of duo racing - finish a lap and get a few minutes rest while getting ready for the next lap. I've ridden thru the night, throwing down fast laps under the illumination of the Exposure Lights. I've bolted away from the exchange tent with the race on the line and pulled it off. But I've always had Nick on my side, on his bike right before or after me.

Not this time. I will have Nick on my side l…

One Week

The week before a 24 hour race is always crazy. Lots of stuff to get done - all the packing, cooking, bike prep and maintenance work. No matter how many of these things we've done, there is no easy way to prepare. We can have all the lists and checks in the world, but it all still had to get done. And so much of it is last minute. I can't pack my clothes until after that last wash of the week (except for the winter stuff - hoping not to need it in the middle of June!) All the dry food can be packed away, each item marked off the list so it's not forgotten. But the cooking has to wait. So I'm going to be making a mess in the kitchen the day before we leave, guaranteed. Potatoes, rice, chicken, sausage, rice cakes, chocolate cake, rice porridge.... Lots of cooking so we can eat real food. Bikes can be looked over - Nick takes care of all that, but they are always in use until loaded onto the van. And with having more then one bike, that doubles Nick's work just befo…

Ascent Cycling Series off to a great start

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Mostly photos - the race report is on PikesPeakSports.us
It was a really good start to the race series - cool but perfect weather for racing, a fun trail and a good crowd. Nick actually got  to race this year and had a fun time riding in circles on his single speed.






Rider or racer?

Once again, I'm blogging about the Ascent Cycling Series. Hopefully some insightful thoughts, some random rambles and lots of photos. All my stories and training topics for the Ascent Cycling Series will be on PikesPeakSports, as well as the race reports and some photos from the fun.

I ask myself this question all the time. Sometimes I want to be a pure racer, other times just a rider out for fun. But there's nothing wrong with either! I address it more in my post on PikesPeakSports.us for the Ascent Cycling Series this year.

Dodging rain drops

II was sure we would get soaked when we left the house for the ProCycling Tuesday mountain bike ride. The clouds loomed dark and grey over the mountains and a small shower had already blown through. The set up was classic for a monster thunderstorm and a super soaking. Many of the regulars bailed on the ride because of the weather, but Jen, Leah, Craig, Nick and I pushed on. If anything, the trails would be quiet and in awesome shape if it started raining! We met in Stratton this week for a change of pace. A nice meander up Chamberlin - avoiding climbing up the Chutes and we found ourselves on Gold Camp. There was a large group of riders waiting at the top - some to descend, others for riders still climbing. So far, the clouds were holding off and although muggy for Colorado, it was a perfect night for riding. Everyone was in a good mood and the pedaling was awesome. Jen planned on dropping Spring Creek to Columbine, then descending down to the canyon. Haven't done that trail in a…

Growler part deux

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I'm not sure why this race report has been so hard to write. Maybe because I wasn't every really racing - I was riding hard, but my primary aim for the Original Growler was to finish in one piece. After the full pre-ride and crashing on Friday before the race, I was more then nervous. Would I really be able to finish a course as demanding as the Growler? I was nervous about my bike choice - I went with my Era, knowing the bike was a little slower then my Fate. But I also wanted the suspension for some of the technical spots. Staying on my bike and riding everything (or almost everything) would be easier on my little bike. So I was sacrificing speed for fun and flow. I was also worried about the heat. Hartman Rocks gets really warm - and unlike at Whiskey, there would be no shade to hide in near the end. No shade at all - and very dry and dusty.  Nick was in charge of my water and I knew he'd be  awesome and on top of things like usual. So all I had to do was ride my bike a…