Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My recent outdoor activities

Yeah, that's right, outdoor activities, as in I actually did more than ride bikes. The other day I went hiking down in the bitterroots. It did start raining way up there so I did get a little damp. And we ran into snow before we could get to the lakes up canyon creek. Really cool waterfall up there that goes a couple hundred feet down a rock face. I took a picture:

I should probably do a little more hiking and running and such because my legs are hurting quite a bit from that. Stairs kind of suck and I went on a short ride earlier that wasn't so great.

We've also had a lot of rain lately so I haven't been riding as much. I did get a few good rides in last week, with about 50mi Monday that included a couple hills, 30mi on the mountain bike up the rattlesnake corridor to the wilderness boundary, and a tough group ride Saturday. I'd never been all the way to the boundary and it was a pretty cool ride. Very wet and rocky though, with some sections where we were riding through 6" of water. A good full suspension ride would have been nice. Here are a few pictures from that one:

Saturday's ride was with other road racers and pretty fast paced. Every little hill seemed to turn into a sprint and the paceline was going 25-26 for awhile. Total mileage for me was 70, and I actually worked harder than in my last few races so I'll have to keep showing up for that one.

Next race for me is Cow Country in Wolf Creek this coming Sunday. Then I might do a time trial in Polson and the State Road Road race championship is June 15th in Phillipsburg. More info and updates can be found here. If they go as well as the last two races I'm going to see if they will let me move up to cat 4. There aren't that many races in Montana and you are supposed to do 10 before you can upgrade, so it would be like two years otherwise.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday night mountain bike ride

Every Thursday evening Aaron puts on a group mountain bike ride and so far this year the turnouts have been huge, with an average of about 15 riders. Last night we went up mt Sentinel and it was really nice out and I took a few pictures:

I went down the "chopsticks" descent faster than I have ever gone and got a rear pinch flat at the end, likely due to hitting a sharp rock at high speed. According to gps I was going nearly 25mph when it happened so that was a little scary. I thought I was okay on pressure with about 38-40psi in the rear but I guess I need to go back up a few psi. Either that or I need a new bike with tubeless 29" wheels.

If you're interested in coming out to a TNR, the rides are posted on the website

And here's the strava link

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eden road race report

I raced my bicycle again today, this time in Great Falls, MT. My dad was nice enough to come with to go play golf with a friend so I didn't have to drive or pay for gas. Score! The course was also fully paved, it was sunny and 70, and there was barely any wind, which is rare for that part of the country.

The field was a little smaller and they grouped the cat 4s and 5s together, which meant I was racing with more people and faster riders. Scores were still calculated separately so it would not have mattered if every cat 4 had just ridden ahead of every cat 5, but obviously we all wanted to hang with the group so it made the racing harder, and more fun.

The pace picked up at about mile 10 (out of 45) when two cat 4s made a break for it. I was hanging out in the middle of the pack not really paying attention, but still tried to go with. It didn't quite work out and I ended up in no-man's land for a couple miles before I decided I was better off letting the 3 guys behind me catch up so we could work together. That was two other 5s and a 4 who was trying to get us all to bridge the gap. We did make up ground for awhile, but I didn't really have a lot of motivation to kill myself trying to catch those two 4s and we were comfortably ahead of everyone else.

The course was out and back and out and back again, which started with a gradual climb up 1200ft over 10 miles. Then we went down a steep hill, turned around and climbed back up 500ft, went down the other side, turned around and did it again. By the time we hit the top the 2nd time for the home stretch it was three of us and the other two guys were pretty far ahead. Then at about mile 37 I found myself with a small gap on them going up a roller and decided to go for it.

My initial thought was "gee, this is stupid, you'll never stay out front all the way back," but I got down low in the drops, stuck my head down and kept going. Lots of doubt those first few miles but then I looked back to see I was pulling away, and I still felt good with something like 5 to go. I kept at it, and finished pretty far ahead. That race was about the hardest I've ever worked and by the end my sunglasses were so covered in dried sweat that I could barely see out of them.

So I won another race and ended up 3rd overall in the 4/5 pack. Unfortunately I got no prizes. And didn't take any pictures. Here's the strava:

And here's elevation, speed, and cadence for the last 10 miles. You can see where it turned into a time trial:

Friday, May 3, 2013

This week in riding

Was pretty lazy this week and drank a lot of beer. Monday I tried to go on a mountain bike ride but we were turned back by wind and rain. Ended up at the Kettlehouse for a beer instead. I made up for it though at the Missoula Bicycle Works evening road ride. It was Jesse's first ride on his Kona red zone and we broke it in by cranking up a few hills in the rattlesnake so at least I got a bit of a workout.

Tuesday it was cold, windy, and snowed so I took the day off.

Wednesday I was pretty busy. Built Lego with my cousin's son, got a hair cut, and got in a short road ride. My plan was to do either two repeats up pattee canyon or 4-5 trips up the steep neighborhood across from my house but I didn't have time to do quite that much because I had to be at my friend Rachel's house by 5 to go on a mountain ride. We did a short loop up sawmill gulch and the fenceline trail, which still worked out to like 17 miles since we started in town. Then we went to the Kettlehouse again and got tacos afterward.

Even after that I was feeling a little lazy going into the Thursday Night Mountain ride at blue mountain. Thankfully we ended up doing a ton of climbing. The last part of this section up to hayes point is ridiculously steep and I was very glad for the triple crank and 26" wheels. I was not happy about how much the mountain bike weighs that I have been borrowing from dad. Descent from the top had a cool rocky and steep technical section and then we hit the motorcycle trail which had smooth banked turns. Then we went to The Bridge for dinner where I had a few beers. Not content, I picked up a completely unneccessary 6-pack and bag of chips on the way home.

That brings us to today. Went out to lunch (again), drank an iced tea loaded with sugar, and ate some cheetos. ugh. Did get another mountain ride in with Rachel -20 miles with almost 2000 vertical feet- but at the same time I never really felt like I was working. Then went to Kettlehouse again, then went to The Bridge again, and now I'm drinking more beer again. Oh, and I saw Sam Schultz at the bridge which was pretty cool.

Tomorrow is the brewfest, and this whole week has been craft beer week so I guess that counts as an excuse for all the drinking I've been doing lately. Sunday is the Eden road race in Great Falls though so I have to take it easy on the beers. Really looking forward to that although it looks like I'm going to be solo again. The only other cat 5 racer on the team is going to spokane for the bloomsday run and I don't know if anyone else is even going. My plan is to make a break for it going over the hill for the second time but I have no idea if that will work.

Also, I got asked to race 24 hours of Rapelje as part of a 3 person team. That will certainly be interesting.