Just a few random notes from my mountain bike world…
It’s Getting Drier
It has been a rainy summer in Ohio and that has made mountain biking difficult. Within the last week or two the weather has dried up a little and it’s been easier to get on to the trails. That’s a good thing. No… That’s a great thing.
I’ve managed to squeeze in two rides at Lake Hope State Park and one at Mohican State Park. But, when I finally got out on the trail again it was not all good news. Even though I’m in great shape and healthy, I don’t feel like I’m in good mountain biking shape. I’ve lost some of the explosive punchy power that is needed to push up some of the short steep slopes. My climbing is feeling much slower. My legs hold up well, but I can feel a lot of the effort in my back and arms.
My speed and endurance has dipped quite a bit since the Mohican 100. I’m starting to feel like I might get crushed at the next OMBC race but I’m going to work hard to try and prevent that. I can’t let my nemesis, Chris Knapp, beat me again like he did at the Mohican 100.
A lot of my rides have been on the road, but I am going to try and make sure that a lot higher percentage of my miles are on the trail for the rest of the summer. It’s been dry all week, so I’m even going to start hitting my local trail, Alum Creek State Park, which is a great place to ride and close to me home, but it doesn’t stand up to rain well. Tonight I plan on doing two 6-mile laps there. I’d like to make this a speed workout to complement the endurance race that I am going to do on Sunday – the Tri-State 6 Hours race at Hueston Woods State Park.
The last time I tried to time trial Alum Creek P2 I was way slower than normal and it was a real wake-up call for me. My fastest lap there was at the 331 Racing Time Trial two years ago when I finished in a little over 27 minutes. However, last time I went all out, I barely broke 35 minutes. Yikes. That’s a significant drop. My goal is to get that back under 30 minutes by the end of the summer.
Nuts & Bolts
It’s been a rough month for my bike. My trusty steed developed a nasty creak and it turned out that the pedals needed to be rebuilt. (Click here to see the Crank Brothers Rebuild Kit) Thanks to Breakaway Cycling in Delaware for getting my bike fixed quickly.
Then, I was on mile 22 at Mohican on my last ride and the derailluer hanger snapped off and sent the rear derailluer flying through my spokes. The mosquitoes were swarming around me as I struggled to get my chain unstuck from my rear cassette. All I could do at the point was remove the chain and jog my bike out of the woods. I’m still not sure what happened. I didn’t hit anything. I guess thousands of miles of wear-n-tear had finally led to a complete meltdown. Now my bike will have a new Sram X-9 rear derailluer when I race at Hueston Woods on Sunday. I’m also having the tires trued, so hopefully my bike will be running smoothly for the next month.
Shout out to my homie Joe Worboy. We drove to Lake Hope together twice and we will also carpool to the 6-hour race at Hueston Woods. If you don’t know Joe, you should get to know him. He is an inspirational figure. This is his first full season of mountain bike racing. He did a handful of races at the end of last summer and got hooked. He has embraced training for races with great enthusiasm and the results are incredible. He is wicked fast and amazing climber. I like riding with him because he definitely pushes me to the next level.
Like me, he made some big lifestyle changes and lost a lot weight. He uses mountain biking and a healthy diet to keep the weight off. What a great influence. He pushes me to workout harder and eat healthier. I can’t wait to see how good he can get over the next 3 or 4 years.
In other news, I ran into Expert 40+ racer Vince Urichich on the bike path behind my house. He has moved into a house fairly close to mine. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
The busy season is coming. I have 8 races on my calendar in the next 2 and half months. 3 or 4 6-hour races and 4 or 5 OMBC XC races. I’m still trying to decide whether to do the OMBC race at West Branch or the Tri-State 6-Hour race at England-Idlewild in Kentucky on August 9th. Which race would you do? I’ll probably make the decision after I see how the 6-hour race goes this Sunday at Hueston Woods.