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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The first MTB race/Sport Debut of the year is officially in the book. As some of you know, I've been sharing my time this season as a roadie and the Mountian. The weather has been rather wet so far, in which case I haven't had too many days on the mountian. for that matter, I had only ridden my Superlight 3 times in as many months before this race.

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND PRERIDE
In any case, Chuck and I leave Denver around 10 and get to the XC course by 4. Thanks to Chuck's impulse buy of a new Specialized Allez (roadie) on the way to Moab. As a beginner last year, I would not have dreamed of riding an entire course the day before the race. I find myself this year with much more strength, so we head out. One of the first things I notice is this ever present deep "ocean" sand that seems to be strewn about. In point of fact, there's a nice deep 15 yd section of it as we aproach the start. Can't say we hav a lot of that around here. We head out on the TT course for a little recon, and a little play. Less than .5 in, and I crash on a right hand turn which just happens to be full of the sand. Funny how 20+mph can be very quickly negated by sand. The bike stops, I keep going, fourtunatelly the deep sand makes for a soft landing. Get back up, take a ribbing from Chuck and do more recon... except now my saddle is wobbling (this will be important in the race) I had to borrow a seatpost right before I left because my older CT2 finally broke. In any case, tighten it back up and keep on goin. After about 4 miles or so, the course takes a quick left off of the ATV road and leads to the singletrack. This singletrack would be the intro to the technical section. Basically from here out, we would climb moderately technical slickrock with the occassional 1 to 3 foot rock step ups. Being that I haven't had much time on the Mountain, my technical skills are very lacking. This would be made very evident during the race. As a roadie, I have developed a pretty rounded out spin. Unfortunatelly I have not figured how to spin on the uneven/undulating slick rock. Thank goodness I went out with Tom(rapwithtom) on White Ranch the week before the race. Otherwise, I would have had no technical riding prep. After the eventual climb out, at about 10 miles there was the summit,and the fast descent through single track, which then opened up to an all out .5 mile sprint on fire road to the finish. Cool course. With an occassional race pace, and play around the slick rock, it took us about 1hr10 minutes to ride.

That evening, we meet up with Tom at the Moab Brewery for dinner. Poor service, lousy food. Oh well. After that we check into the hotel. Nice that we get stuck with a smoking room, despite the fact that we reserved a room 3 weeks ago. The town is packed, and their were no vacancies anywhere.

RACE DAY:
The benefit to riding SPORT---No more 8am race starts. We get to the parking area around 9. from there it was about .5 miles to the finish area to check start times. I go off at 10:35. Cool! Ride around for my warmup, and then do the final .5 to the Start area. At least that deep sand stuff will get me a good interval push before my race. 3.2.1.GO I leave the block feelin pretty good. Fly right through the section where I crashed during the preride. Averaging arounf 19-20mph on the ATV road except for every time I hit the soft sand. Evidentally, I still didn't have the right tire pressure to float through. Oh well. Unfortunatelly I got caught by the guy that started 30 seconds after me. Oh well. Still feeling really good as I move into the singletrack leading to the technical slick rock. As I approach the first step up(less than a foot) I lift the wheel and BAM! Guess I lifted too early. The front tire, hits the front of the step, but end comes up, and I elbow plant both elbows into the slick rock as hard as I can. NICE! From there, I made it a point to time my lift correctly. I cleared almost all of the other step ups except for 2 which I opted to run over. In any case, I gain some time back on a few people, and work my way to the 30 Second Bonus Climb. Right before there is a descent, when I notice that my saddle is kinda wobbling while sitting. for that matter, it's making a lot of noise while standing... Not good. I approach the bonus climb and dab out, so no bonus. Run to the top, sit on the saddle... and get real personal with my seat post. With about 4 miles to go, I had no saddle to sit on, as it was hanging sideways. Oh well, finish to the top, and begin the downhill. Do my best to endure my new personal affection for my seatpost, and sprint the best that I can on the fireroad to the finish. Cross the line, with a grin either way. Not because I had a stellar race, but because it was fun in general. With having had a broken saddle I finsihed 15 out of 24 with a time of 1:04.02.0. The guy that finsihed in 14 finished in 1:04.01.8. I figure I may have lost about 3 minutes or so without my saddle. Even at that, it would have only gained me 2 more spots.

After the race, Chuck, My wife and myself went for a Road ride in Arches park. Again, not something I would have dreamed of last year. Easy spin to flush out the acid, and the asthetics were phenominal.

On Sunday, I also attempted the Hill Climb. Cool run up Amasaback. The start was downhill, over a 2 foot drop, tight right turn, to another right, with a calf high creek crossing, and then up slick rock for 2 miles. Basically it would be a series of short steep slcik rock sections, over relatively flat/bumy slick rock, to antoher anaerobic climb. On Friday and Saturday, I would be able to acclerate on the flat sections. On this day... No dice. I'd attempt to gain a gear, and my legs would just kinda laugh. Oh well. Not a good day at all as far as racing, but the course was cool. Results---less than respectable 13 of 14 with a very meager time of 22.22. The winning time was 17.03.

All in all, a great weekend. I still can't answer as to whether I like Road Racing vs XC Racing. Both are a great time. Ones a nice ripe orange, and the other a juicy apple. AS for why the borrowed seat post came lose. No clue. Must have been a conspiracy. :D
I was pleased with my debut in Sport. Provided I would have been happier with a top ten, but considering my mechanical issue and my lack of technical skill I am content. As for my HC performance...ahhhhsuckchoo!

Great time, cool courses, great people. Tom's time on both days were better than mine. Good job buddy. I don't think that any of the other course are as hard as the one's in Moab, so there is a little(very little) hope for me. Looks like Rocky Mtn Hammer Gel(formerly Herman Miller) has got a super strong team in 30-34 sport with 3 guys in top 10, and another that surely would have been in top 10 without his mechanical. Winning time, would have been good enough for a Top 5 in Expert. Looks like Sport 30-34 is gonna be tough! But if it were easy, than what's the point! My short term goal is to hit a top ten this season, pay my dues, and see what happens.

Catch ya out there. For this weekend it's a Road Crit at the Swanky's Classic. Next weekend, I'll be taking my floggings in Nathrop!


Start of HC. When I thought I was feelin good! Notice the guy behind me, he caught me real quick after the creek!

The sharp right after the 2ft drop at the start before the creek

Slickrock sections like this were indicative for the rest of the climb. Just it seemed a bit steeper.

All in all, great 2 days of racing with cool courses, people, and amazing scenery!
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Great write up!

I had planned on doing that race until I found out the XC portion had been removed. Sounds like fun nonetheless.

I can relate to the saddle thing. My G/F and I were out in Moab, and her thudbuster snapped. Being the chivalrous guy I am, I gave her my seatpost and saddle, and proceeded to ride the 10 miles back to the car sans saddle.

Feel the burn baby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
forkboy said:
Great write up!

I had planned on doing that race until I found out the XC portion had been removed. Sounds like fun nonetheless.

I can relate to the saddle thing. My G/F and I were out in Moab, and her thudbuster snapped. Being the chivalrous guy I am, I gave her my seatpost and saddle, and proceeded to ride the 10 miles back to the car sans saddle.

Feel the burn baby.
Isn't Chivalry just grand?!!!

I understand your thoughts to the XC portion, as there was a lot of that concern. I think the consensus in the end was that it went pretty well. I think it was a great way to see where the fitness lies in prep for the rest of the season. Provided, I wouldn't want a whole bunch of them throughout the season, but it actually turned out to be a really good format.

Thanks for the cheers. So will we c ya at Nathrop?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ya know how sometimes during the warm ups' the legs just aren't quite right? At least the canyon looked cool!
 

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Good start to the (mtn.) season! I'm still not sure about mtnbike TT's, but seems like they had a good set-up. No surprise that the 30-34 sport group was fast, 'specially the RMHG / HM guys! They always stirred up things last year - both in sport and expert.... The Amassa hill climb would have been all mine, I tell ya! I probably would have opted to dismount, boogie across that sandy red clay creek crossing, protecting the drivetrain and sacrificing the fresh feet smell in order to preserve shifting/drivetrain integrity.... but I'm a wimp.


Nice write-up, always fun to read about other peoples problems...:rolleyes:
 

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Preemptive Revenger
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Nice writeup!

I remember well the corner where you fell during warm-ups...I was just a hair away from eating it on that right-hander during the race!

I too don't have a whole bunch of hours on my MTB yet...it shows during races. Last weekend I made lots of mistakes costing big time and energy...I wonder who had more falls, you or me, during the Sovereign TT? I had three or four, or maybe more...

You are likely the only foo who went for a road ride after the race!

The Sovereign TT was cool, IMHO; the Amasa Back HC, while a a really fun hill climb, is a little short to call a day of racing. They should figure out how to make that climb part of a longer race...
 

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the cool nerd
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Great write-up and nice pics. Are you new on that team? Just wondering, I raced on Stealth for a few years before moving to NM, and recognized your jersey..

scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Sportsman, I am new to the team this year. Last year I raced for MojoWheels. I started spinning at The Bike Station and that's how I got connected to Twin Peaks Racing. As you can tell, the jersey is old school. We should have had the new kits this week, but 2 weeks ago, we had to make an emergency change, as we just got a major sponshorship arrangement with Aspen Edge/Coors Brewery. As for road racing, I race as a sm4. PM me with your last name, and I'll pass the neame around to the guys that have been there for a while. Also, checkout the Team Site at www.twinpeaksracing.com.

Cheers,
Ocky
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey man. Thanks. Moab is truly an amazing place for riding, boating, climbing, and incredible scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rapwithtom said:
Nice writeup!

I remember well the corner where you fell during warm-ups...I was just a hair away from eating it on that right-hander during the race!

I too don't have a whole bunch of hours on my MTB yet...it shows during races. Last weekend I made lots of mistakes costing big time and energy...I wonder who had more falls, you or me, during the Sovereign TT? I had three or four, or maybe more...

You are likely the only foo who went for a road ride after the race!

The Sovereign TT was cool, IMHO; the Amasa Back HC, while a a really fun hill climb, is a little short to call a day of racing. They should figure out how to make that climb part of a longer race...
Hey Tom,
I can say with pride that I only crashed once on Friday, and once on Saturday. So that was good.

As for the road ride. Yeah, probally not the best of ideas, but with a place like that, I'd be silly not to. Maybe that was a cause of my major fatigue on Sunday. If it was, cest la vie. At least I got to enjoy the scenery and have a cool mellow ride with my wife.

I agree about the HC being a whole separate race. I kinda wished they would have had an overall GC. Or, maybe they should have lowered the price substantially for doing both events. More like $40 bucks for the weekend. HArd to say. Either way, if circumstances allow, I will definatelly go back next year.

I'll give ya a call so we can get a ride in next week.
-Ocky
 
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