Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Quantico mountain bike racing

There's a mountain bike race next weekend on Quantico Marine Corps base, which I'm really hoping to compete in. Quantico will be like a homecoming for me, it is where I began mountain bike racing, in 1991. Yes, 1991. That's the same year Kim and I were married, and I remember nervously racing at Quantico the weekend before our wedding. This is our 15th year of marriage, and I've been racing mountain bikes for that long as well.

I'm looking though shoeboxes for an old photo from that race (we had film cameras then). I'll post it it I find it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wednesdays at Wakefield

The local race series is over for this season

Wow, since this blog was plugged in Spokes Magazine, I guess I better get busy with some more worthwhile content eh? The Spokes article used all my good quotes, so I guess I'll just write some words about the Single-speed races.

Last year, I won the overall series, and won a couple of the individual races (when Jason wasn't there). I had such great success last year at this event and the Cranky, that I actually thought I might be sandbagging. HA ha, nothing to worry about anymore. Last year, I thought the main reason I was fast at Wakefield was "gearing". I was out-gearing all the other SSers. With my 29" wheels, I was using a 34x16 gear, and was easily gapping folks on the flat cinder trail and the powerline sections. After the series, last Fall, the trails at Wakefield got a lot of work from IMBA, Larry Cautilli, and MORE. The Phase 2 sections took out some rutted fall-line trails, and replaced them with the new "rollers". Word was that the new course this year would be even faster.

So, I put on an even larger gear than last year, a 34x15 for a pre-ride the week before the series started. Yikes!, that gear was way too sluggish (or was it me?). I changed by one for the opening race, a 34x16. I got the hole shot, as I would for most of the races, and had my best finish of this season, a 2nd to StevieD. After the race Stevie tells me my gear is too hard, that he won by using a lower gear. So, I believed the logic, and went down another gear for the next race to a 34x17. Again I got the hole shot, again I died on the last lap, and finished 4th this time.

Anyway, to shorten this story, for each race including the Cranky's, I went down a gear until I was finally running a 32x17, a far cry and downright "Ricky" gear compared to the monster masher gear I started with. My last laps got better, but I never cracked the top-3 again.

The Single Speed class has become quite strong and competitive. Pearce spent the previous 10 months pulling heavy cargo around in a bike trailer on the streets of DC. Pierre swims and runs triathlons, and works out on his local trail at Fountainhead, RickyD has turned into Mr. Epic. Stevie has stopped road racing so much and his dirt speed is way up. Marathon man & log hopper Frasketti is always in the mix now. Nick and Dave are always tough, and of course, Jason can beat any of us when he shows up. Anyways, congrats to all the strong and fun single-speeders out there and huge props to PVC for putting on this great event. It is the thing I will miss the most about moving to PA. Maybe I can arrange to have work in NoVa for 4 Wednesdays next summer?