I competed in my first mountain bike race in 1995 at the tender age of 11. From that point on I was hooked on cycling. Through my years as a junior rider I raced mountain and road bikes with the Specialized Jr Team. I accumulated several podium places in the Winter Park Series and Mountain States Cup series. In 2002 we captured the 24hrs Junior National Championship Title beating many of the senior teams in the event. During this time I also competed in cross country skiing and running. I spent my freshman year at Western State College in Gunnison Colorado where I skied Division 1 Cross country. The next year I returned to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado I began to focus my racing on the road where I moved up from cat 3 to cat 1 in just three seasons. I spent 3 summers at the in Hertsberge Belgium racing with the Cycling Center from 2005-2007 competing in many pro and amateur level UCI races. 2008 I rode for the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling team and competed in the Tour of California and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia. In 2009 I rode for the smaller DLP Racing team and it was then that I rediscovered my love for mountain bike racing. I did a handful of races and notches several podium finishes in the Winter Park MTB Series. The highlight of my season was winning the 19-29 Marathon National Championships title. This year I am racing with the Mountain Khakis fueled by Jittery Joe’s team on the road and Specialized Bicycles on the dirt. With great support from Specialized and a solid racing schedule I am looking forward to finding even more success in the 2010 season in both mountain bike and cyclo cross racing.
Success in my first crack at the Leadville Trail 100August 23, 2011
Last November I went to the Paramount Theater in Denver to see the premier of the 2010 Race Across the Sky movie. Watching that movie stoked a fire burning inside of me. Being a road racer and accomplished mountain biker I knew that this was an event for me. After the movie my left leg (the one I broke just over a year earlier and with a full compliment of hardware still in my Tibia.) was more painful then any other day since I had been off crutches. I could hardly walk back to the car and even had to hold onto my mother to make it home. Almost exactly 10 months later and with my hardware removed I was lining up to do that very race I had vowed to do. A 6:30 am start makes for a rough morning, something I have done for only one other race before, the Maratona Dles Dolomites Gran Fondo in Italy back in 2005.
Having done the event before I only had some idea of what the day was going to be like because of a recon ride one week earlier with my teammate John Phillips (Team Rio Grande) and Ward Baker, a Leadville 100 legend in his own right having finished 8 times with several top 20 results. We did not see the entire course but keyed in on the most important sections, Columbine Mine and Powerline climbs. The day before the race I managed to get my race number and starting position changed from the first timer group 1800 numbers all the way to the front pens top 250, a move that completely changed my race. The neutral roll out of town was in typical UCI road race fashion with an aggressive, dodgy and very fast pace. Once we hit the dirt roads I began to move up and as we hit the first pitch on St Kevins climb I found myself right near the front following Tim Johnson’s wheel in about 8th place. The pace was only moderately difficult but my stomach was not happy and I left my breakfast on the descent coming down to the pavement.
As we circled Turquoise Lake the group swelled to around 15 guys and we worked together to keep the leaders close. The group more or less stayed together over Sugarloaf pass and down Powerline to the long road/ dirt road drag across the valley. After passing through the Pipeline feed zone and with the group single file a few of the heavy hitters, Lakata and Bishop rode off the front. Passing through the Twin Lakes feed zone, which was the most chaotic feed zone I have ever seen my group was sitting top 15 as we approached Columbine Mine climb. Knowing the distance and altitude we would be reaching I kept the pace consistent and moderate while others pushed hard early then faded as we hit tree line at over 11,000 ft. Near the summit Todd Wells was the first to make the turnaround and descend down past as the high point came into view. The return trip down was very quick and uneventful even with two-way traffic and a constant stream of racers inching closer to the 50 mark. Back at the Twin Lakes feed zone I was isolated between groups as my racing mate Bryan Alders had to stop for a mechanical. Some cold bottles from my parents and I raced on riding the next 40 miles more or less solo with 5 guys up the road just in and out of view and another 3 behind chasing. I connected with Specialized support crew Jordi and Jeff for some life saving bottles then pressed onto Powerline. Over the last two hours of the race I would suffer from leg cramps as a result of my upset stomach and fact that I only ate 400 calories with of food for the full 7 hrs of racing. One dose of the super electrolyte The Right Stuff made a huge difference for me and combined with a coke bottle from Andy at the bottom of Powerline and I was in full hunting mode. I managed to ride the entire Powerline climb without putting a foot down and passed one of my rivals right near the summit. The last climb of the day up St Kevins, this time on pavement allowed me to catch two more riders although both men used their descending skills to pull away putting me back into 11th place with just a few miles to go. The entire way into Leadville I could see the two in front of me but they were working very well together and I just could not catch them. One final roller and I was in the final stretch rolling over that beautiful red carpet and across the line. 11th place overall at 6hrs 52 min and 1st place in the 20-29 age group. An epic day of racing and a great result in my first attempt. My teammate John Phillips finished just behind me in 29th place and a ripping time of 7 hrs 19 min. Sunday morning we both received our coveted gold and silver belt buckles for finishing in less than 9 hours. We both agreed that we would be back next year for another go.
Back to the dirt on my new S Works Epic 29erJuly 28, 2011
After two big road trips Mt Hood and Nature Valley stage races and a 10 states in 20 days I was home for a week off the bike as summer was finally in full effect here in Boulder. After hitting the reset button on my body with massage work from my man Bobby Hills and several visits to Dr Boynton at North Boulder Chiropractic I was ready to climb aboard the bike again. This time I was switching back to fat tires and single track. The Winter Park Superloop race has always been one of my favorite races. This year I have a new S Works Epic 29er bike and after getting it all tuned up I was ready to break her in. Driving to Winter Park early Saturday morning my buddy Brian and I headed over Berthod Pass was we were treated to a very rare July avalanche as a cornice from the incredible winter snow accumulation broke off and raced down the snow field. It really was a beautiful morning at the resort and although I had no idea how my legs and bike would perform after some time off it was time to rumble. Up the famous first uphill service road drag and surprised I was feeling my oats and went straight to the front. As we approached the single track I had extracted a group of 5 and we kept of pressing on to extend our lead. We bombed the first descend swapped leads on the dirt and again on the technical sections and eventually Travis Macy, Kalan Beisel and myself pulled away and the race was on. Using my road racing leg speed I pulled Travis back on the long dirt road section and increased our gap. We hit the finally huge climb and Travis put the power down and simple rode away. I was suffering from my week off and near the top of the climb and ski mountain for that mater Kalan caught me. I did my best to hold on for the switchback descent knowing that he was a much better descender being a UCI pro mountain biker full time. I must admit that when it comes to racing mountain bikes my strengths lie in the road like fast pedal sections. As we neared the bottom I closed the gap on a dirt road section and kept on hard through the final singletrack section sprinting all the way to the line coming in a scant 10 seconds behind Kalan for 3rd place. After a terrible season in 2010 I am so happy to say that I am back on form in 2011. Im so happy to have come full circle after my leg break, a disaster of a season and a full recovery from getting the hardware removed. Thank you Specialized, Curve Inc., Breeze Bars, Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, The Right Stuff and Golden Tiger.
Team Rio GrandeApril 12, 2011
Team Rio Grande has taken a road trip out west to kick of the season at the San Dimas stage race. It took two days of driving with an uneventful over Vail Pass then things picked up on the western slope. A lunch stop in Fruita and we were off again this time the wind had picked up and visibility was at a minimum from dust in the air. Approaching St George we hit a brief but strong winter storm. Finally we hit the big city light of Las Vegas. Yes Vegas baby! Well actually we stayed at the Tuscany Suites and it was thankfully in the 24 hrs we were there, two meals and good nights sleep later and it was by far the most pleasant and un Vegas experience I have ever had in Sin City. Day two was a short and entertaining drive to Chino passing through the Mojave Desert and past historical places like the Calico ghost town. The journey ended in Chino and our time in California is in full swing.
Sunday fun day!March 18, 2011
Sunday fun day! So maybe the weatherman was wrong about 60 and sunny. 50 and cloudy with a few snowflakes falling is still not terrible for this time of the year. Coach Neal Henderson from Boulder Center for Sports Medicine had a big ride on my schedule and I was itching to get out on my Specialized Stumpjumper. I had a rough idea of the epic route I would conquer but I was still laying things out as I ventured forth. It was a big climbing day with road, dirt road and 4wd trail sections. I headed up Flagstaff leaving Boulder behind and slipped over the backside where I connected a little known 4wd road that connects over to Magnolia. I was latterly on the dividing line between spring and full on winter weather as the snowflakes fell. I passed my friend and fellow Specialized mate, triathlete Jimmy Archer who was out for long run. I descended down to Boulder Canyon then it was straight back up Sugarloaf. I hit the top and turned right back to dirt stopping at the top of the Switzerland Trail parking lot to put on my brand new Curve Inc. thermal jacket. I was slightly worried about what I would encounter down the trail because an emerging Jeep came off the trail with snow packed in the wheel centers. That means deep snow. Luckily the trail was packed down and not too snowy. I descended all the way down to Salina then took another turn uphill. This time I was headed to Gold Hill and would be riding through some of the areas that were terribly devastated by the fires in September. Riding past homes burned to the ground with only a stone foundation as a reminder. Riding through the burn area is very eerie and saddening experience. One house was completely devastated and 20 feet away a house that was left untouched. Gold Hill was another chance to add layers, grab a Breeze Bar and then plunge down Lickskillet Rd, the steepest grade in Boulder County averaging 15%. I had returned to pavement and headed down Lefthand canyon then up and over Leehill and back into Boulder proper. Not done yet though. I turned up Wagonwheel Gap Rd and then onto Bow Mountain Rd, one of my favorites little climbs here in town. I hit Linden neighborhood and did the full loop around and down to Boulder and the 4th Street cycling byway as it could be considered. A cycling superhighway in mid summer, it’s the perfect way to get across town and avoid all the busy roads. A quick neighborhood tour took me to Chautauqua Park, past NIST and on to the base of NCAR. I crawled up Lehigh St. and finally rolled into my garage. Total ride stats: 6hrs, 70 miles, 50 mph top speed, 10,700 ft of climbing and 5100 calories. Im not sure if anyone would have wanted to ride with me but I was grinning from ear to ear all day long. Great success!
I was out for a training rideFebruary 23, 2011
I was out for a training ride a few weeks ago on my cross bike doing some tubular tire testing on some crusty wind blown snow from a recent snow storm. I wanted to ride some single track trails and see how the tires did since the fall was so mild and we hardly had any bad weather racing last season. Of course its a blast getting out and ripping the trails to see how deep of a snowdrift I could ride through but the highlight of the day happened in the parking lot before I even hit the dirt. I stopped for a minute before heading out and had an older gentlemen and his wife come over to me. They were getting ready to go for a hike and the man was quite interested in my bike and how I was able to ride more or less a mountain bike trail with what looked like a road bike. I explained to him that it was a cross bike and had larger tires to cope with off road riding while still being fast and enjoyable on the pavement. He was pretty excited to have discovered such a bike. The reason? Well he explained that quite a few years ago he use to be a road cyclist and was hit from behind by a passing pickup truck. Fortunately he survived the accident but it had left him vowing to never ride on the road again. He is now only rides a mountain bike but has grown tired of riding the same trails all the time. I told him of all the gravel trails and quiet dirt roads I ride my cross bike on and I could see his eyes light up. I headed out for a few hours of pure fun on the trails plowing through snow drifts and putting the new Specialized Terra tubular tires to the test. I hope that some time soon I will run into that same gentleman on a cross bike cruising the back roads of Boulder County.
Happy New Year!January 10, 2011
I cannot tell you how happy I am to do done with 2010 and year of bad luck. I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be my year to make a mark on professional cycling. If not then its off to find a real job at the end of the year. To kick things off I happen to find my 2011 cycling horoscope and thought what an appropriate way to pedal into the new year and so without further adieu here it is:
As an Airies, you love to ride lots, have heaps of energy, you’re impulsive and open to change and new cycling experiences. You are also prone to accidents involving high speeds and tend to get yourself into sticky situations when riding in bunches. Be careful out there Aries!
As an Aries you are going to absolutely smash it this year. All your hard work you did in 2010 will come to fruition in 2011.
Some amount of hurdles in luck would be present until May 2011. Mechanicals will occur at the wrong times and your partner will need to pick you up 100km from home. Carry a saddle bag with a chain break and 2 extra tubes with you. This bad luck will give way to better rides and races after May.
As per the 2011 Aries Horoscope you will find your best form between the period of May and November. It would be useful plan some good events during this period to get some good results. Be cautious about racing over-aggressively and flexing your muscle too early. Your form will be good and you cannot show your cards too early.
Want to check out yours? Here is the link.
Meat of the cx seasonDecember 6, 2010
I must say that I really enjoyed being able to do a somewhat full cross season this fall. Its by far the most number of races I have done before and after every race I was grinning ear to hear, well once I caught my breath at least. Next up on my racing schedule was a full block of races through October and November. Aspen Lodge put on my DBC events Chris Grelish was a wild one for sure. Set in the high mountains around Estes Park and the shadow of Longs Peak it was a beautiful setting with golden Aspen leaves and a dusting of snow on the peaks. The course was pretty wicked with loose dirt, off camber turns, water crossings and really rough sections. Not my type of course and it was apparent on the first lap. I hit the deck twice, first when I got hit from behind after having to dismount and run the water crossing setup and then again just after the finish line when I miss judged the turn and washed out landing on a railroad tie. It was a battle to say the least and probably not my best showing for sure. I found more success or at least I was riding faster in the next few weekends with at the Interlocken race in Longmont and then the Louisville cx. Its pretty amazing to me that I have been doing the entire fall purely on the fitness of road season with the Tour of Utah and USPRO being the most recent races. I did one day of motor pacing in September and it seems to have stuck with me because as soon as these cx course hit a long flat stretch or some pavement I can just roll it up and go flying by guys with no problem. Louisville gave me some problems though as it had two long uphill runs and with the hardware still in my leg it was painful and unnatural for me to run up. I was noticeably slower then everyone else and had to use my bike as a crutch. Never the less i had back to back races and my fitness was at least holding steady.
Halloween weekend was a biggie here in Boulder. First off I love Halloween and the crowds that come out to Peal Street are always amazing. Of course I dressed up and partook in the madness that consumes the town. This year I did some work on an old costume, Mad Max and it was killer. Too bad only some people knew what I was. The second thing was big UCI races Saturday at the Boulder Res and then Sunday at Flatirons crossing. Saturday was particularly good for me with a lot of flat fast sections and power stretches through the sand. This was the the first time I have finished a UCI cross race without getting pulled here in Colorado. Sundays race was a slip sliding grassy adventure out at the Flatrions Mall. I managed to keep it upright but many guys were just a bit too aggressive on the side hills and fresh cut grass clippings littering the course. When all was said and done I notched identical 34th place finishes both days and most importantly I had a really great time racing in front of friends and family in beautiful Boulder.
Wow time flies when you’re way too busyNovember 19, 2010
Wow time flies when you’re way too busy. Finishing up my last semester of school has been very time consuming and training has been cut down to a minimum and I have neglected my blog for way too long. It’s long past time for an update. I need to go all the way back to the end of September to catch up where I started my cyclocross season with a bang at the UCI Cross Vegas at Interbike in Sin City. With a starting position of 102nd the chances of seeing the front of the race were nonexistent and with no cross practice yet this year I was in it for the fun and to fly the colors for Specialized. Last year I wanted to do this race so bad and ended up watching it on the couch with my leg in pieces so just being there was very important to me. Despite my leg hurting on the run ups from the hardware Im still lugging around I had a solid race and finished up a respectable 53rd place. The course was fast and exciting and crowds were some of the best you will find in the US.
A quick stop back in Boulder for school and an exam then up to Winter Park for collegiate mountain bike races. It was a solid weekend with a 5th in the xc and 4th in the short track to wrap up a block of 5 races in nine days. I had hoped to follow up the weekend with a trip to Collegiate Nationals but the team decided not to select me for reasons that have never been explained to me. I was the number two rider in most of the races but perhaps not cool enough or maybe just not enough of a true mountain biker to fit the team’s criteria. No matter as cross season was in full effect and with my new Specialized Crux there was fun to be had. First up with the Boulder CX race at Interlocken, a race I hold dear to my heart as it was the first cross race I ever did and the only one I did in 2008 before going to Australia for the Herald Sun Tour with Jelly Belly. The race was on grass but somehow was super soggy and somewhat muddy. I had so much fun and really caught the cross bug doing this race. I finished up a respectable 22nd out of about 65 guys. Add to that the fact that my good friend and former roommate Spencer Powlison’s bachelor party was the previous night and I missed the start of the race and I think that was a pretty solid effort.
What a September it was! Part 1October 13, 2010
September has been a whirlwind month of life. I came straight into things fresh off the Tour of Utah and making the transition from full time bike racer to full time student plus full time bike racer. Mix in the shuffling of classes to make sure I have everything need to finally graduate in December and somewhere add as much work with the clothing company Curve and it doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Now that was quite a bit to handle on its own but of course September was chalked full of racing too. First a weekend off to recover from my hamstring tendonitius injections to finally calm things down. I had somewhat unknowingly suffered with this since doing the prestigious Philly road race back in early June. I had a pretty good weekend of training slowly getting back into things without pushing too hard throughout the long weekend. The real excitement came Labor Day morning as I woke up to a massive wildfire raging above town in the very back roads and trails I had planned to ride that day. I managed to ride up Flagstaff to Magnolia since that was pretty much the only climb that was not closed by authorities. I managed to get several good looks at the fire throughout my ride and when all was said and done the flames burned for more then a week destroying 170 homes and easily becoming the most destructive fire in Colorado history.
The following weekend was my first weekend of collegiate mountain bike racing hosted by Colorado School of Mines at Sol Vista ski area. My weekend was off to a terrible start with my alarm not working properly resulting in me oversleeping the race. Considering every mountain bike race I have done in Winter Park this season has been marred by bad luck it seemed par for the course. Quickly switching gears I hopped on my new Specialized Crux Pro Carbon and hit the dirt roads for bit time training. Riding from our house in Homestead Hills I quickly linked up quite roads to Winter Park and on to Corona Pass Road. 13 miles of steady climbing later and I was at the top of Rollins Pass 11,660 ft, the Continental Divide and looking down at the front range far below. I partially retraced my steps down till I hit CR 128 the Water Board Road A gravel road that runs all the way to Meadow Creek Reservoir above the valley gradually becoming more and more undulating with pitches touching 20% towards the end. When you have been riding and climbing for almost 4 hours these pitches are killer. Did I mention CR 128 runs around 10,000 ft above sea level? By the time I got home I had logged 5 hours and lots of climbing, a really solid day. Sol Vista race take two the next morning and not only did I make the race a short track xc at the base of the mountain but it seems that I finally broke the curse and actually had a good race. 4th Place finally! I was so happy to get that one and hopefully more to come. The next two weeks round up still to come so stay tuned.
The Tiger is GoldenSeptember 7, 2010
This year has not exactly gone according to plans or expectations. In fact this has been the most frustrating and difficult season in the 15 years that I have been racing. Some of the hurdles have includes bad luck on the mountain bike side and organization and support issues on the road side. The biggest problem I have had to deal with has been the effects of my leg injury sustained last fall. I have had many poor performances as a result of some major bio-mechanical and muscular imbalances and the most recent problem has been Hamstring tendinitis stretching all the way back to the Philly race on June 6th! I think I have finally resolved many of these issues and so I hope to have somewhat of a rebirth for the remainder of the season as I wrap up my road racing and transition into cyclocross and collegiate mountain bike racing. At the end of the year I will be getting the hardware out of my leg. Trust me it cant come soon enough as I am constantly dealing with pain in my leg as the result of the hardware. Back in May I was doing to Tour of the Gila and found some samples of a natural pain relieving cream from a company in Albuquerque NM. The product is Golden Tiger and if I had not found this stuff Im pretty sure I would not have gotten through the season as well and I have so far. This stuff is awesome and has really been a key factor in me being able to train and race this year. With Golden Tiger in my pocket, my injuries healing nicely and some great new weapons to assault this fall in the form of a Specialized S Works 29er HT and Crux Pro cyclocross bike Im ready to redeem my season.
Cascade did not go as well as plannedAugust 4, 2010
Cascade did not go as well as planned. The first two day I was feeling pretty good and though I might be coming around and then the TT came. Long story short, light out, time cut, stage race over. I cam back to Boulder and went to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine to find out what the heck is going on. I was able to recreate my problems on the bike in the fit lab. After that some investigating with the ultrasound machine with the help of Dr Nichol. What we found was good. First off I had no signs of arterial blockage, which was a huge relief. What was found was some tendentious of the attachment point on my upper hamstring probably caused by riding a somewhat unfamiliar bike at Philly. With that information it was back to the fit lab to change saddles, pedal axle lengths and adjust saddle height. With all of these changes made I was feeling like a new man.
July 31 was the Crankworx weekend at Winter Park full of racing, slope style comps and tons of people. I didn’t know how the xc race was going to go since my changes were made only a few days earlier but I though why not give it a shot and with instructions from my coach to go out super easy I was lining up for 24 miles of climbing technical descending and lots of mud and water. Out of the start I was just about last but I just rolled through the race picking off people and racing to test the body and not worry about the result. The course was super fun and one of the longest races in the Winter Park series. I had to stop a few times for minor mechanicals and finished a lowly 22nd place, 11 minutes behind the leaders an guys I would normally be racing with. That’s how it goes when your coming back from injury and so I chalked the weekend up as a good training session and fun time on the trails. To cap things off I headed over to the slope style comp for some wicked awesome highflying jumps and tricks. Even go to see fellow Specialized rider Darren Berrecloth ripping it up. The season can only get better from here on out!
Where have I been the last few weeksJuly 23, 2010
Where have I been the last few weeks? Well after a disappointing Firecracker and not having felt all that great since Philly on June 6th it was time to take break and regroup for the rest of the season. I sat down with my Coach Neal Henderson at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and make a game plan for the next few weeks.
To start I had some blood work done and a little rest followed by a Lactate Threshold and VO2 Max test. It had actually been quite a while since my last test and some collecting some good number and data would help to see what exactly is going on with my body. I also had several sessions with my massage therapist Bobby Hills and Chiropractic work from Dr Boynton at North Boulder Chiropractic.
Because of the accident last august when I broke my leg I have continued to have some issues throughout the season leaving my body somewhat unbalanced and certain muscles in my left leg not firing properly during times of hard training and racing.
Sadly for my racing program I needed to take some time away from competition and the red line race efforts that had been zapping me the past few weeks and so much to my disappointment I had to pull out of the CTS International UCI stage race in Colorado Springs and also not do XC Nationals at Solvista which is somewhat of a home race since my family’s mountain home is just a few miles down the road.
Well the two weeks off of racing and sticking to coach Neal’s training plan has me feeling strong and refreshed. I am now headed to Bend Oregon for the Cascade stage race my first road racing since Nature Valley a month ago. After that I will be back home to Boulder and returning to the dirt for some great mountain bike racing.
The fourth of July is a special day in AmericaJuly 20, 2010
The fourth of July is a special day in America, the birth of our nation, fireworks and parades, a long holiday weekend where almost everyone loads up their vehicles with bikes, boats and campers and heads for a long weekend in the mountains. The 4th also happens to be the day of the mountain bike marathon national championships in Breckenridge Co. I did the event for the first time last year racing the 19-29 age group and having no idea what kind of mountain bike skills I had. When all was said and done I had won my race by 15 minutes and would have placed inside the top 10 of the pro race. This year I decided to set things up and race pro in a very stacked field of roughly 65 top men from around the country. I had not been feeling all that great lately and my training program consisted of a little intensity to try and sharpen along with a lot of rest. The Firecracker is really a great race and my first chance to show off my brand new Curve custom kit adorned with all of my sponsors some pretty wild graphics and patterns all done in the red/white/black motif of Specialized Bicycles. It was a beautiful morning driving to Breckenridge from my family’s place outside of Winter Park where I had previewed the XC Nationals course the day before. Arriving in Breck the parade crowds were already forming and hundreds of runners were finishing up and trail running event that took place earlier that morning. On Main Street it was a really exciting scene with some 900 racers staging and people of all ages coming out to watch. After a neutral roll out through town we hit the climb up towards Boreas Pass and things got serious real quick. Within a matter of minutes our field when from a nice paced large group to single file with groups of 3 and 4 riders forming with some fall off the pace very quickly. I was really hurting but found myself in good company with Dave Wiens, Ryan Trebone, Burke Swindlehurst and a few other top riders. Little did I know that the effort I was putting out to try and stay in contact with the leaders would eventually come back to hurt me. Roughly 30 min into the race we had passed through the first feed zone and turned off the dirt section of Boreas Pass and onto the first section of single track. Shortly after this I began to feel the effects of the altitude, and my effort combined with the fatigue my body had been feeling. I kept pushing on the rest of the lap eating and drinking when I could but the mind was saying more power and the engine room had nothing more to give. As passed the third feed zone and pushed on for the end of the first lap I was passed by some riders that should never have been able to keep up with me and it was then that I realized that sticking it out for another 25 miles probably was not such a good idea. I finished off the lap and pulled the plug knowing that any further racing was going to hurt more then help. While it wasn’t the race I was hoping for I still had a great time, got some compliments on my flash new kit and later found that I got my picture in the Summit Daily Newspaper. Its now time to sit down with my coach and come up with a program to get me rested and find my form for the second half of the season. There is a lot of racing still to come.
New bike, big rideJuly 14, 2010
June 12th is set to be my first mountain bike race of the 2010 season after a change of plans with the road racing schedule after Philly. 6.5 hrs of hard racing and 6 hours of sleep did not exactly leave me feeling like a champ. I made it back home to rest, ride with my junior Flat Iron Flyers team and get a little training in. Most importantly I had a new Specialized Epic S- Works full suspension waiting for me. With two days of wrenching and a few stops at the bike shop for parts and tools I got my flash new race rig up and rolling., what a beauty she is too! Along with the bike came new S Works helmets, shoes and optics. I can honestly say that I have never had such awesome and nice equipment for mountain bike racing. I took my new Epic out for its maiden voyage with Erin Kummer on an ambitious ride to link up Heil Ranch, Picture Rock and Hall Ranch then back. My Epic worked perfectly climbing like a hard tail while soaking up the bumps of the rocky sections along Heil Ranch. For being an extra large frame my bike is amazingly light and a real thing of beauty in motion. We blasted down Picture Rock until we passed a rider who warned us of a Rattle Snake sunning in the trail up ahead, which he apparently rode over.
We rode through without a sighting and continued into Lyons and on to Hall Ranch, which provided some real technical sections to sharpen my trail skills that have gotten a bit rusty over the winter. After a fantastic loop around the top of Hall in meadows full of colorful wildflowers and fields as green as I have ever seen in Colorado we retraced our steps back to parking lot at Heil. Three quarters of the way up Picture Rock Erin screeched to a halt and quickly ran behind me. There in the trail was a light brown snake stretched out. I quickly noticed the coloring pointed head shape and sure enough a nice rattle at the end of the tail. The snake must have gotten the hint we wanted by because he slowly began to head into the grass and soon enough we had enough buffer to pass by and finish our ride clocking in almost 4.5 hrs, not a bad shakedown. The bike performed beautifully and I had a fantastic ride. Good to be out in the dirt once again.
June is summer time right?July 9, 2010
June is summer time right? Well not exactly, at least this year Mother Nature has been quite angry here in Colorado. April and May where full of cold and snowy days (6.5 ft of snow fell at Winter Park Resort after ski season closed on April 15th). I was even delayed driving down the the Tour of the Gila at the end of April due to a snow storm that closed I-25 between Denver and Colorado Springs and at Gila we had snow flurries on the last stage a day that is normally 90 degrees or warmer. With that all behind me it was now June and the beginning of Summer and more importantly mountain bike season. With my new Specialized Epic ready to race and my body hopefully feeling recovered from Philly I headed up to Winter Park for the opening race in the series that runs June through August. The weather report did not look too good but hopefully even in the mountains the weather wouldn’t be too bad right? In the morning the clouds and rain had lifted and I though we might actually pull this race off before the weather moved in again. I was wrong. At registration it was cold and pouring rain. Even worse at the finish line at the top of the mountain it was snowing. The race organization deliberated and then 30 min before the start they decided to cancel the race and in retrospect was a very smart decision. I think getting people down the mountain after the race could have been a complete disaster. Well two weeks later now and its been hot and sunny so hopefully Saturdays race will be under clear blue skies.
Today was the pre raceJuly 3, 2010
Today was the pre race for tomorrows July 4th Firecracker 50 Marathon National Championship.
Being in Winter Park I decided to head over to Solvista and check out the XC National's course set for July 17th. I rode to a 22nd place in my first pro cross country nationals last season at Solvista on a course that was literally straight up the mountain on smooth single track and then straight back down on newly cut very technical trails with exposed roots, drops and a fine silt like dirt creating a new experience with every lap. This year Solvisa created a completely new course to help prepare riders for the World Championships in Mont Sainte Anne Quebec, Canada.
The trail crews have been busy this year building several sections of all new trails just for the cross country events. The pro course features quite a few sections of new trial with a mixture of smooth fast climbing which will require top fitness and power combined with descents featuring wooden bridges, berms and rock gardens to keep things exciting. After exploring the mountain for an hour or so I managed to find some of the new sections of trail and with the help of my expert camera dad (Andy Pruitt) we took a few quick videos of what we found. Overall impressions of the new course are that they have really done a much better job of creating a more interesting course for racers and a much better view for the spectators. Should be a great day of racing for both the pro men and women July 17th.
August 23, 2011
July 28, 2011
April 12, 2011
March 18, 2011
February 23, 2011
January 10, 2011
December 6, 2010
November 19, 2010
October 13, 2010
September 7, 2010
August 4, 2010
July 23, 2010
July 20, 2010
July 14, 2010
July 9, 2010
July 3, 2010