Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Unfinished Business.

Solitude is one of my favorite venues, that and it is hard, really hard, relentless climbs and punishing descents.

Lyna and I arrived early for her race, like 4 hours prior to my race. Lyna had a good race, coming in 2nd. She is well on her way to recovery.

Last years race, while I took 2nd, was a debacle for me, I wanted to be sure that I did not implode. So I took off, from the start, but once we came around off the gravel to the short pavement section, I let off a bit and Sam came around me. I stayed on his wheel until just a bit into the honeycomb climb. I Kept a steady pace over the top and made it to the round house service road in front. I then put in a little effort at the top of the pavement.

On the initial descent, I worked mt way around a lot of SS/19-29 and 30-39ers. Came into the lap zone with a decent gap. By the feed zone on honeycomb, the gap had opened a bit, about 2/3rds up that service road, I felt my front tire very soft, so I stopped put some air in it and Sam and Kevin passed me. I got back on, and made it maybe half way up the single track before the tire went dead again, So I started working on getting a tube in it. No dice, in hindsight, I'm certain the Big Air Froze and then broke the tube valve stem, Ken C threw me his big air too, no bueno, so I hoofed back to the base.

Unfinished Business. I won at Solitude as a beginner in 2001, since then it has been a series of close calls, Paz, Sly, Chris B. and Sam all taking me to the cleaner. I felt comfortable and strong before the flat, later in the race, while leading, Sam had a race ending flat as well. It is a part of racing and the worst part of it was the lethargic, too many calories in my system feeling I had the rest of the day.

All cylinders see to be firing for Laramie however, 18 days away.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Saturday morning temps were nice, in the 60's in the valley when I woke up. I like that. Earlier in the week, I had pre ridden the SnowTurd, erm, Snowbird course. The Felt Team Nine worked much better on the new Singletrack climb than the Zaskar last year. The DH of Sketch, well it was extra sketch this year, looser, baby head rocks and wash out ruts everywhere.

Friday evening, i waited to do a spin post dinner, got home at 9:30 after an hour, nice a cool by then.

Sam has always done well on this course and Kevin has been super strong this year, almost untouchable even.

We had about 10 at the start, Sam took off and I got on his wheel, once into the onetrack he let up a bit. But 4 of us, Kevin and Dennis included were building a gap. Sam and I had a bout 3-5 seconds on Kevin and Dennis halfway through the first one track. Just a bit before the drop down Dick bass, I got a thick stick stuck between my frame and rear tire, I had to stop to remove it, almost taking Kevin and Dennis out when they came around me. So i tried to calm myself and slowly came back to Kevin and Dennis' wheel by the top of the climb. I lost a bit ground on the DH of Sketch but was back with them on the bottom traverse. I went around them right before the start/finish and had Sam in my sites.

By the top of the Lap 2 climb, I had come around Sam and had a small gap. Halfway down the DH of Sketch, he came blowing by. I caught back on to him on the service road below the gad lifts. By the top of the 3rd lap climb, i had a bit larger gap on Sam, but again, he caught and passed me right at the bottom of the DH of sketch, Again, I passed him on the service road below the gad lifts.

On the lap 4 climb I just pushed it as much as I could, trying to build a sticking gap for the DH of sketch, which I did, I'm pretty sure on some of the switchbacks that lap, I was almost sitting still, I just wanted to stay upright.

Ended up with the win, about 50 seconds in front of Sam, Kevin was running 3rd when he flatted with a mile or so left, which dropped him to 5th, Dennis ended up 3rd about 6.5 minutes back. Had to bring the bike on the podium, I mean, wouldn't you?

Felt great the whole race, lap times;


Fairly consistent.

I had the 2nd fastest expert time on the day (First fastest actually woulda won pro, dang 15 year olds)

Hope the form holds for Solitude.