Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whiskey 50 Race Report

start/finish. photo toby
this more a trip report than a race report.... arizona was a good time.

i rolled out thursday afternoon with toby and we headed straight for scottsdale to crash with tom for the night.  after a good night sleep we hit mcdowell mountain park to shake out the legs.  the conditions were perfect and we knew we had made the ride call to enjoy the warmers temps down in scottsdale before heading up to prescott.
mcdowell competitive track. photo toby
once we got to prescott we checked in for the race, met up with ryan and sarah, picked up some supplies (beer), and head to our cabin.  it was a super mellow night with ryan, sarah, and toby.  we made an epic dinner and were in bed early.
sunset in prescott from our front patio.
race morning.  we headed out the door to the start and it was 39 degrees... but warming fast.  thankfully sarah was at the starting line and we able to shed some layers before the gun (literally) went off.

the race started out pretty fast up the initial road ride and I had an ok start and was able to bridge back up to the back end of the front group before we hit the fire road. the group split then and the lead pack (top 10) got away. i worked hard once we hit the single track climbing.

that trails were sick. perfect single track... tacky. so fun. i was riding well and making some passes. I saw brent (who later told me he was in 12th at the time) with two guys on his wheel a little bit a head of me. so i hammered to bridge and was making good progress until i went of course. it was my fault.

i was hammering on a short fireroad section between single track climbs and totally missed a turn. before somebody yelled at me about 10 guys went by... the race was tight to say the least.

got back on the single track climb and just kind of sat in and made passes where i could and then it was time to descend. the descent was rad and maybe some of the most fun stuff i have ever ridden. so rad. i didn't see anybody ahead or behind me the whole descent.

the rest of the race was kind uneventful. the long out and back (12 miles each way) was definitely hard. 12 miles descending only to flip and climb 14 back. it was tough but I was able to work really hard thanks to brent.  i sat on brent's wheel for 75% of the way back up until i couldn't hang anymore. he was killing it.. after flatting earlier in the race.

i ended the race riding strong and making some passes and got passed by one dude on the final descent when i had a pretty good crash.

at the end of the race i was smashed! the hard riding and altitude definitely did some damage. very satisfying effort.
time 3:44
24th overall

overall a pretty rad day on the bike and solid effort. my only goal heading in was to go hard and try to break 4 hours. mission accomplished on both fronts. i think 3:30+ is attainable for me on this course now that i know what's out there.... and if i could deal with the altitude.

good chance i will be back next year....
ryan had an awesome race and so did my my other celo teammates brent, ben and cliff.  I am also super stoked for toby.  i talked him into the doing this race a month or so ago after he got his mtb.  he raced the 25 miler race and knocked it out.  pretty rad after not racing his mtb in 12 years!
well deserved!
the afternoon after the race toby and i hit whiskey row and most importantly The Raven.  they had an epic beer selection and awesome food.  we were both pretty beat though and i was in bed before 9pm... yep... lame old man!
some damage from the weekend.
sunday morning we were up after 9 hours sleep, cleaned up the cabin, and headed to granite basin (thanks for recommendation Jason R) to shake the legs.  we rode for just over an hour on some super fun single track.  then it was back to the raven for breakie before making the trek back to socal.

overall it was a rad trip and really want to get back out to prescott for more riding and relaxing.  hopefully i can get beth out there this summer.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Sea Otter Classic Race Report

The past weekend up north was rad.  ryan and i headed up to Sea Otter early thursday morning to meet up with trevor and pre-ride the course.  the course was in great condition and pre-riding was super fun.

my race was friday afternoon and i got some good sleep thursday night.  i got up friday morning, knocked out and easy spin, ate some good food and just relaxed until it was time to head to the course.

here's the report...

a very good race for me. felt great on the starting line and ready to go... and played it smart. it's a long, hard race.

stayed in the pack on the road and just tried to be smart. i knew ty kady was the man to watch out there (been killing it all year) so i just shadowed him. he made a move right before we hit the dirt and i followed.

I was in the top 10 hitting the first climbs and then moved up a couple of spots during the climbs and held my ground before first single track. i was feeling good and racing well. i ended up trading 5th and 6th place back and forth with jason rusnak. he was riding strong and we were battling but at the same time working together trying to get up to the leaders.

by the end of lap 1 griffith worked his way back up to us and we all started the 2nd lap together in 5th-6th-7th. when we hit the climbs again i got a bit of a gap on the initial climbs and got away. i charged the fireroad downhills and maybe went the fastest i ever have on my mtb on the dirt... 42.8 mph. even though i was going for it griffith was able to close the gap to me and we hit the single track together.

for the next 30-40 minutes we battled... trying to crack each other. it was some of the hardest (and most fun) racing i have ever done. i mean we were almost 2 hours into a race and still going ballistic attacking each other... RAD!

i was sitting on griffith's wheel as we hit a flat single track section that led us to a little mud pit. he took a bad line and had to unclip and i got around him and the hammered up a single track... and got away! stoked. i kept on hammering and saw and tracked down the 3rd place guy. it was wes.. another cool guy who regularly hands me beatdowns when we race. we chatted for a second and then I went by knowing that if i wanted to hang on to 3rd i had to make a move over the next series of climbs.

i got a solid gap as i made the final right turn onto last series of fireroad climbs leading to the finish (or so i thought). I knew ty kady was leading but i had no idea who was in second. i decided to ride steady to hold onto 3rd and the rolled past a guy who immediately latched onto my wheel. I then realized he was the 2nd place guy... so i was now in 2nd with him on my wheel. i wanted to sit up and make him take the lead but I knew wes (4th place) was strong and if i let up finishing 3rd may be in jeopardy. so i kept hammering.

eventually near the end of the final climbs he came around. i was pretty blown at this point and was trying to stay on his wheel. then we hit the final "new" section which i had never seen/ridden before. it was rough. freshly cut, super rough single track and grass with some super steep climbs. at one point is miss-shifted and dropped my chain and 2nd place got a way. i got the chain back on and hammered to the finish... super stoked to have finished 3rd in what is the hardest mountain bike race I have ever done.

i have done races longer and super hard 1.5-2hr XC races, but i have never worked that hard for so long.... it felt great.

i really love racing my bike and giving it EVERYTHING i have. i crossed the finish line completely shelled, shivering, and STOKED!

here's the results.

up next... the Whiskey 50 next saturday.  my race at sea otter has me really looking forwad to it. 

here are some random photos from the weekend.
post race feast prepared by trevors awesome grandmother.  sukiyaki!
pre-ride crew
pre-ride view.  i love it up there.

richard at the fluid tent.  go get some.  it works!
satruday recovery ride.  we hit some fun single track and spun out the legs.
post ride celebratory IPA.  Ranger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

a busy stretch...

as usual time has been flying by... and there is going to be no slowing down over the next couple of weeks.

it got started last weekend when some of my new family came for a visit... Dan (bro-in-law) and Erica (sis-in-law) came our from chicago for a long weekend and we had a killer time.  me and dan probably had too much fun!  sorry erica!
me and dan with pliny the elder at Stone last friday.
and now it's really going to get gnarly starting this week.  this is how the next 4 weekends are shaping up for me.

4/16 (actually this friday) - Sea Otter Classic - XC MTB, Monterey, CA
 - heading up early tomorrow morning with ryan and meeting up with trevor.

4/24 - Whiskey 50, Prescott, AZ
- heading out to tom's in AZ next thursday after work (4/22) and then up to Prescott on friday.

5/1 - Ironman Saint George, Saint George, UT
- obviously I am not racing this one, beth is.  we are leaving wednesday (4/28) for utah and hauling ass back on sunday after the race.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  I get to just have fun, get in some good riding, and watch all my friends race.

5/8 - The Traverse, Silverado, CA
 - another crack at an endurance race in the santa ana mountains.  looking for a little redemption after Vision Quest.

so yeah... a super busy couple of weeks.  a lot of racing, training, traveling, and good times!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Opening Day!

today is opening day for the mlb season and in my opinion should be national holiday.  so stoked... and optimistic.  the pads have a young team this year and it should be fun to watch.
all is right  in the world when the sun is out, baseball is being played, and the beers are flowing.  the pads are opening the season in AZ but i will be at the home opener next monday at petco.  can't wait.

training last week was solid and one of the bigger weeks i have put in in a while.  right now things are just rolling.  i have gotten to the point where i can knock out some pretty big volume on the bike and absorb it very well. 

some highlights from the week were a killer ride in the santa ana's with ryan on saturday and then backing it up with some road time with beth on sunday.

the ride saturday couldn't have been any better.  perfect weather and the trails were in good shape.  we rode 3/4 of the traverse course that we will be racing on may 8th.  it's going to be a tough one and i am looking for some redemption up there after what happened in Vision Quest.  we knocked 40 miles, 7000+ ft of climbing in just under 5 hours.  good times.
Sunday.  beth had a long, mellow (by dirk's standards) to get in and i told beth i would roll with her.  the plan was for 5 hours, but i woke up and really wasn't feeling it.  we had been on both friday and saturday night and i didn't get to bed until after 10:30 both nights (i know... i am a boring old man) and was just kind of tired.... but beth got my grumpy butt out the door.  she's champ.  we ended up knocking out 80+ miles in just over 5 hours.

so definitely a very solid  weekend on the bike with over 10 hours in the saddle.  i have another tough week and training before a mellow/taper week next week with Sea Otter on friday.  i am really looking forward to heading back up to monterey for some racing.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

time to party... at Rehab United!

it's been a good week. solid training and just still being stoked and inspired by beth's race last saturday.

tomorrow night is going to be fun. Rehab United is hosting the Team E.X.C.E.L. Endurance Seaon Kick-Off Party. The work beth and I have put in at RU is paying huge dividends! come out tomorrow night and learn more about what they have to offer, meet the crew, eat some food, drink some beers (i am bringing some great IPA's), take a step to becoming a better athlete and just have some fun!