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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I an Expert? Apparently so, because they let me race that class.

My first MTB race ever was the Alien Run in 2004. I took first place
(out of 5 or so) in the sport category. I proceeded to race about 15
more times last year, and showed at the top of the sport category in
all the races. I'm not bragging, that's just how it went.

For 2005 , I decided there was no more fun to be had beating up other
sport riders, so I decided to give expert a shot. This race was my first
attempt. One thing is for sure - I didn't beat anybody else up.

The race staging area was at a different location this year. Last time,
we staged in bustling downtown Aztec NM. The mayor fired the starting
pistol, and we were escorted out of town by the local constabulary (in
a good way). The race then proceeded up 10 miles of oil-field access
road to the 10 mile singletrack, then back.

This year we started out at the go-cart track about 5 miles out of town.
The trail was changed to accomodate some newly created singletrack that
covered the first 7 or 8 miles up to the main course.

The race started out with me towards the back of the expert pack. This
is about where I expected to be. Someone from sport had gotten in the
middle of the pack, and I was right behind him. His pace seemed leisurely,
and the cat calls from the few experts still behind me had no effect
on him at all. After 15 minutes of watching the main body pull away,
we hit a wide section, and the guy was shoved off to the side so the
last 5 or so experts could pass. I felt one guy try and get past me on
a sharp uphill. He hit my back tire and went OTB into the bushes. I didn't
even know he was that close until he rammed me. I stayed where I was,
and gradually pulled the rest of us up to the trailing end of the pack.

And I was spent. 30 minutes into the race, and my legs were killing
me. The new section of course was extremely loose, tight through the
trees, and sandy. I was passed on the first hike-a-bike climb. I stayed
on his tail for about 5 minutes. Then I dropped back a little, and was
passed again. About 10 minutes later, I still had them in sight. We hit
the couple miles of oil-road, and I switched up to the big-ring. It's
a fast ride to the main trail. I could still see the last 5 or so of
the expert pack entering the main trail. Then I never saw them again.

The main singletrack is in better shape the the new section at the beginning.
It has been there for years, and is well packed and well marked. It's
10 miles long. It starts out through the trees, transitions to a slickrock-type
setting, then comes back down through the trees with lots of sharp tight
turns.

I was having shifter problems when I tuned my bike the night before.
I thought it was fixed, but apparently not. There was one gear that would
skip all over the place. Wouldn't you know it - it was the gear that
would have been the best for the conditions. One more was too much, and
one less was too little. Of course that's the way it feels. I found myself
forcing it into gear by holding down my trigger shifter to keep it where
it was supposed to be for about half of that section. 2/3 of the way
around the singletrack, I catch up to The Yellow-Jersey Guy. I don't
know his name, but he was at a bunch of the races last year. Always in
that same yellow jersey. I always pass him about 1/2 way through every
race. I caught up to hum and said - "So you upgraded to Expert too?".
I was glad he was there. It kept me from DFL.

After that we were on the shorter loop that the sports were doing. I
had to pass about 10 of them, and it was never on the flats - always
in the trees. By the time I got across the flats to the original singletrack
section, I was beat. That section is hard enough - and with exhaustion
setting in and slowing down your reaction time, I found myself jerking
off trail and spinning out in the sand a lot more than on the way out.
Passed a few more sport riders, then eventually rolled over the finish
line.

That was the weirdest part. Last year I would finish top of the sports,
and wait for all the experts to finish. This year they were all sitting
around relaxing, and I was one of the last 10 people off the course.
We had some crappy nachos (tasted good, but NOT the thing to eat after
a race) and compared winter activity stories until the promoters started
packing everything up around us. I think it's amazing how many people
I don't see unless they are on their bikes. It's like they've all been
hiding for the winter... Or I have.

One guy - Mike from Abq went out as beginner, and decided the short
course was too short. I had talked up the longer sport course as being
more fun, so he decided to go ahead and ride that as well. He was glad
he did. I was glad he did too. Nothign like beating youself to death
for your own personal amusement.

So - all in all. My time:
25.3 miles in 2:11
Max speed 32mph
The winning time was 1:45
 

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Preemptive Revenger
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Hey Forkboy -

Well done!

For some reason I think you race some of the MSC races as well. How do the 4 corners cup races compare? Shorter/Longer, More/less technical, more/less competitive, more/less expensive, better/worse karma?

I've thought about driving to one or two of those races but it's a haul from Boulder so would like to know what I'm getting into.

Cheers
Tom
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
rapwithtom said:
Hey Forkboy -

Well done!

For some reason I think you race some of the MSC races as well. How do the 4 corners cup races compare? Shorter/Longer, More/less technical, more/less competitive, more/less expensive, better/worse karma?

I've thought about driving to one or two of those races but it's a haul from Boulder so would like to know what I'm getting into.

Cheers
Tom
Thanks for the kind words.

The 4-corners cup was created by a bunch of people around here who got sick of driving all over the front range every year to race in the MSC. I haven't done any of the MSC races, but I have done a couple of the NORBA races in the area. The 4-corners cup races are a lot smaller. Usually there are about 70-90 racers. The smallest senior-sport field I had last year was just me, and the largest was 12 or so.

If you want to do a small, homegrown type race, then these are great. The best one is on May 7th - Ride The Lightning in Cortez. Last year we had Todd Wells and Shonny Vanlandingam show up.

If you want to do a bigger race with 30 - 40 person fields, I recommend the Iron Horse MTB race. It's on the Monday of Memorial Day weekend. It's a blast. Lots of people come from the Front Range for that one.

If you want to beat up on GlenZX come down for the Road Apple Rally.

So

Most of the races are 20-25 miles. The longest one last year was 30-something. We did one race on the Iron Horse course, and sports rode almost the entire pro course.

I think some of them are actually more technical - less people = less people complaining about the course.

Competitiveness... the core group is a bunch of guys who race against each other every other weekend, instead of nameless faceless guys from 200 miles away. It's all good natured - except for that sport guy who found his way into the middle of the expert pack ;)

Less expensive. $25 for most of them - includes t-shirt and food most times. Always donated to a good cause (libraries, youth programs, etc.). No license required

Karma is great.
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
*rt* said:
nice job finishing.

i know exactly how you feel and i'm racing expert for the 2nd year!! :rolleyes: :D

i'd like to tell you it gets easier but it doesn't. on the other hand sometimes you finish better! :)

rt
Thanks *rt*. You & Glen's race reports were instrumental. Hearing about you getting whupped up on and still going back for more is quite a motivator ;)

I think if it quit hurting, I'd be somehow disappointed.

I do look forward to finishing better. This time last year, I thought I was a really good biker. When I look back, I can't believe how much I improved over one season. I mean, it's no miraculous Glen G. story, but I figure I should be Master of the Universe here in another couple seasons :D
 

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forkboy said:
If you want to beat up on GlenZX come down for the Road Apple Rally.

Karma is great.
You know it's hard enough with the NM/AZ/SW CO guys beating me up - don't invite those Boulder Area sandbaggers down to NM! Have a heart....

Great write up! Will we meet in an expert race? How old is you anyhow.... If memory serves me right (ha!) I figure I don't have to watch my back for you being younger and all. I may be totally whacked out though - who knows.

Sounds like an excellent race - did you meet MightyMatt (Timo) from ABQ? He's one of the FooMTB staples and a stoopid strong rider - and he raced there too - and posted hiw write up on the Foo site. Sounded good. Next year I'll do the 4-corners cup, dangit! With my magnanomous DFL at Coyote, I considered taking up Kite Sailing this summer....
 

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forkboy said:
Thanks *rt*. You & Glen's race reports were instrumental. Hearing about you getting whupped up on and still going back for more is quite a motivator ;)

I think if it quit hurting, I'd be somehow disappointed.
Sage words indeed, grass-hoppah. If it doesn't kill you..... and all that. Glad the write ups convey something positive - even when the situations are less than great.....

forkboy said:
.....it's no miraculous Glen G. story.... :D
THAT was funny! "Miraculous"? Now I've heard it all. I'm flattered, but DFL ain't no miracle story! Next time....
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
glenzx said:
Great write up! Will we meet in an expert race? How old is you anyhow.... If memory serves me right (ha!) I figure I don't have to watch my back for you being younger and all. I may be totally whacked out though - who knows.

Sounds like an excellent race - did you meet MightyMatt (Timo) from ABQ? He's one of the FooMTB staples and a stoopid strong rider - and he raced there too - and posted hiw write up on the Foo site. Sounded good. Next year I'll do the 4-corners cup, dangit! With my magnanomous DFL at Coyote, I considered taking up Kite Sailing this summer....
I'm 31 - I think you're right around there too. I'm going to try to make it down for Angel Fire, but that may still be up in the air. What Cat are you riding in the Iron Horse? I can't really tell from their website, but I think I'll be in the Master Men 30-34.

I didn't meet Matt - from the sound of his report I was watching him pedal away while stuck behind the "bottleneck". There was a group of guys I had never seen before (girl with black hair & dog, guy with nipple rings) and a bunch of other people I just didn't know but looked familiar..
 

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forkboy said:
I'm 31 - I think you're right around there too. I'm going to try to make it down for Angel Fire, but that may still be up in the air. What Cat are you riding in the Iron Horse? I can't really tell from their website, but I think I'll be in the Master Men 30-34.

I didn't meet Matt - from the sound of his report I was watching him pedal away while stuck behind the "bottleneck". There was a group of guys I had never seen before (girl with black hair & dog, guy with nipple rings) and a bunch of other people I just didn't know but looked familiar..
Aha! We'd be / we'll be in the same group in any NM races, except AF - which will have smaller age brackets. The 30-39 guys seem to be pretty strong ;) (I'm 35)

My short list in the near future is:

This weekend at Cloudcroft;
Next weekend at Socorro;
The NEXT weekend at Nathrop, CO for the Chalk Creek MSC race;

Iron Horse where I have to ride/race with the CAT4/5 group since I do not have either an ACA or USCF license (We'll all ride together then they'll score the different age groups seperately I assume...) At Iron Horse I've planned on not doing the mtnnike race - for no good reason other than the fact I'd rather go riding or hiking with my wife sometime that weekend...
 

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glenzx said:
Aha! We'd be / we'll be in the same group in any NM races, except AF - which will have smaller age brackets. The 30-39 guys seem to be pretty strong ;) (I'm 35)

My short list in the near future is:

This weekend at Cloudcroft;
Next weekend at Socorro;
The NEXT weekend at Nathrop, CO for the Chalk Creek MSC race;

Iron Horse where I have to ride/race with the CAT4/5 group since I do not have either an ACA or USCF license (We'll all ride together then they'll score the different age groups seperately I assume...) At Iron Horse I've planned on not doing the mtnnike race - for no good reason other than the fact I'd rather go riding or hiking with my wife sometime that weekend...
It's about time I get to meet the infamous Glen. Tom and I hit up a training ride yesterday in prep for Moab. Man I'd love to hit podiums like you in Sport, but I'll be happy with middle of the pack. Are you going to Angelfire? That was my huge crash last year, so I have been debating.
-Ocky
 

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OdaNelli said:
It's about time I get to meet the infamous Glen. Tom and I hit up a training ride yesterday in prep for Moab. Man I'd love to hit podiums like you in Sport, but I'll be happy with middle of the pack. Are you going to Angelfire? That was my huge crash last year, so I have been debating.
-Ocky
Angel Fire is a 95% "GO", though there's a slight chance I'll be out of town that weekend.

Were you a victim of the crazy-fast descent right before the start/finish area, as you came screaming out of the woods? My wife saw a few horrendous crashes there....

Go avenge the crash! I was sort of thinking about the Snowmass National as a "C" race, to go and avenge the two years of lousy performances - one wheel explosion and one DNF/hospitalization..... hopefully the third would be "the charm".

I only got on the podium twice last year as a sport - though they were both first places :eek: . I guess 2 for 2 is OK....

Moab should be fun for you guys - I look forward to the race reports!
 

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glenzx said:
Were you a victim of the crazy-fast descent right before the start/finish area, as you came screaming out of the woods? My wife saw a few horrendous crashes there....

Go avenge the crash! I was sort of thinking about the Snowmass National as a "C" race, to go and avenge the two years of lousy performances - one wheel explosion and one DNF/hospitalization..... hopefully the third would be "the charm".

Moab should be fun for you guys - I look forward to the race reports!
Yeah 2 for 2 is only..."OK"
:mad:

Actaully ny crash was right before there right where the meadow narrows into the tight single track descent, before coming out of the trees. That was the infamous Taco'd Wheel with the 2nd place finish. Then again it was only 1 lap. I'll have to see. I really liked the climb section, and I bet I will do better at the descent... or not! It just left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially cinsidering how expensive the rooms are, no good food anywhere in town, etc... Don't ya just love my sorry excuses.

Snowmass Natls a "C"!? Such blasphemy. Then again, that was my first first place finish at Nationals. Tell ya what, I'll do one, if you do the other. ;)

Cheers man. Thanks for the luck. I hope to finish respectable. Pictures and report will follow.
-Ocky
 

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OdaNelli said:
Yeah 2 for 2 is only..."OK"
:mad:
LOL, I was being facetious - and a d1ckhead to boot! The victory at Moab is probably the biggest thrill to date..... I can't deny that.

OdaNelli said:
Actaully ny crash was right before there right where the meadow narrows into the tight single track descent, before coming out of the trees. That was the infamous Taco'd Wheel with the 2nd place finish. Then again it was only 1 lap. I'll have to see. I really liked the climb section, and I bet I will do better at the descent... or not! It just left a bad taste in my mouth.
Ahhhh, yes. I know the spot well. FWIW rumor has it that AF will be redoing the nastier parts of the descent (the chewed out & eroded dusty channels...) in preparation for Worlds. I'd hope they'd do it for the MSC race and get the trail all bedded in then. We'll see. I too find the climbs among the best in the region - race course wise - and will return just to avenge my lousy pseudoephedrine fueled nightmare at AF.

OdaNelli said:
Snowmass Natls a "C"!? Such blasphemy. Then again, that was my first first place finish at Nationals. Tell ya what, I'll do one, if you do the other. ;)
OK, if my schedule works out - done deal. You do AF, I'll do Snowmass National. Update: schedule looks GOOD for that weekend, provided I get the OK from the boss and from the coach, and can find at least one other chump to carpool with (6 hours drive each way). It's a "C" race as training will be pretty tough around then - so it's not that I won't go all-out, but I may not be in super-duper race-ready "form".... Mammoth is the one event I have as an A+ priority. How cool would it be to get one of them sweet stars & stripes jerseys? I can dream....:eek:
 

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I can lift heavy objects.....

glenzx said:
Sounds like an excellent race - did you meet MightyMatt (Timo) from ABQ? He's one of the FooMTB staples and a stoopid strong rider - and he raced there too - and posted hiw write up on the Foo site.
Probably more stoopid than strong...but thanks for the kind words Glen. But we all bow to Scott, don't we?......he's top of the food chain this year.

Yeah the Alien was fun to do again (but don't tell anyone....it's great to have these small events fly under the radar). Also I did like the start from town in previous years like Forkboy mentioned. Forkboy...weird we didn't see each other, but Jeni & I sort of kept to ourselves at the Westy.

Anyway I *might* do Ride the Lightning so maybe I'll see you there. Iron Horse 4 sure. Look me up...we'll have the FooMTB gear then by then and should be pretty easy to find. The racing is all right, but Glen needs to leave time to do some of the epics in his backyard still left unaccomplished. :)
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Timo said:
Forkboy...weird we didn't see each other, but Jeni & I sort of kept to ourselves at the Westy.

Anyway I *might* do Ride the Lightning so maybe I'll see you there. Iron Horse 4 sure. Look me up...we'll have the FooMTB gear then by then and should be pretty easy to find. The racing is all right, but Glen needs to leave time to do some of the epics in his backyard still left unaccomplished. :)
That's hilarious - I was in the OTHER Westy.

I won't be at Ride the Lightning (wedding - not mine) or Battle of the Badlands (Ride the Rockies) but I will definitely be at the Iron Horse.

I rode the course last night, and there is about a mile of trail that disappeared over the winter. **Poof** - it's gone. Now it is some big flat graded hill awaiting a housing development.

Kinda funny - the city council told us that section of trail was closed for the winter to encourage deer habitation. I wonder if the deer were driving the bulldozers to pay the rent?
 

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81 Westy

forkboy said:
That's hilarious - I was in the OTHER Westy.
I saw your Westy when we drove off at the end of the race!!....looked like you had a "newer" one (at least newer than my 81). I've got one of the air-cooled, oil grenade engines, so I'm moving much slower than yours, probabaly. I assume you probabaly have one of the water cooled engines?

I usually do not drive that Westy too far from home and 4-Corners is about the limit. I love it for semi-local mtb trips. But the Jeep was in the shop (broken exhaust manifold) and I hate the Toyota, so the Westy was the vehicle of choice. We were lucky to maintain 30mph uphill, and 60 downhill. :-o

Cool. It moves real slow, but I love driving that thing!
 

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glenzx said:
. FWIW rumor has it that AF will be redoing the nastier parts of the descent (the chewed out & eroded dusty channels...) in preparation for Worlds. I'd hope they'd do it for the MSC race and get the trail all bedded in then. :eek:
ROFLMAO..

From my limited experience with AF, they may have the new World's course laid out in time for the MSC race, but the MSC racers (notice that I did not say we) will be doing all of the trail bedding....

scott
 

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Linoleum Knife
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Timo said:
I saw your Westy when we drove off at the end of the race!!....looked like you had a "newer" one (at least newer than my 81). I've got one of the air-cooled, oil grenade engines, so I'm moving much slower than yours, probabaly. I assume you probabaly have one of the water cooled engines?

I usually do not drive that Westy too far from home and 4-Corners is about the limit. I love it for semi-local mtb trips. But the Jeep was in the shop (broken exhaust manifold) and I hate the Toyota, so the Westy was the vehicle of choice. We were lucky to maintain 30mph uphill, and 60 downhill. :-o

Cool. It moves real slow, but I love driving that thing!
Yup - mine is an '87. Watercooled 2.1L with a whopping 92 Horsepower. I was running late for the race and must've hit 75mph in that thing. I was flying!

They're great - mine used to spend most of the weekends in Moab and surrounding locales - lately it just carries construction supplies. Ironically, since they quit making the Eurovans, mine is now worth as much as it was 8 year ago when I bought it.

Westy ownership is as weird of a cult as MTB'ing.
 

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sportsman said:
ROFLMAO..

From my limited experience with AF, they may have the new World's course laid out in time for the MSC race, but the MSC racers (notice that I did not say we) will be doing all of the trail bedding....

scott
LOL, I was trying to imply just that..... the MSC race would be ideal to "break/bed-in" the new trails. I'd be VERY surprised if they in fact do ANY trails work even in prep. for Worlds....
 
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