Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 is here!

Since my YIR'11 post has been stymied by my lack of computer/free time I have put it on the back burner to bring my blog up to date for the New Year!

That is right folks!  First race of 2012.  First podiums for Rock N' Road / Bikes for Boobs!!!  I got third (photo below) and the Gritters brothers went 1-2 in Elite!!!!!

Bummed that my report isn't on winning, not even second place, but second loser was all I could muster on the day.  Some days just don't turn out the way you hope they would.

A quick race recap...

Uphill gravel start got me off on the way wrong foot.  My ground foot slipped, my wheel spun, and in a heartbeat I was off the back ruining David Turner's start as well.  The first lap I was pressing hard to move through all the traffic and in my haste made a couple mistakes.  Way up ahead somewhere Phil was in a league of his own on the day bunny hopping barriers, behind him a group of four were drilling it, and way back from them was me chasing like a the loyal dog that got left behind at the last pee stop of the family road trip complete with drool and foaming mouth.

This was the slippy Start/Finish region.  Photo Credit:  Jesus Ortega
Eventually I caught back on and things shuffled a bit.  The group was whittled down to four; Hime, Dave, a rider I don't know, and me.  Other than my stupid mistakes and generally sloppy riding (guessing this is a base fatigue and lack of racing related issue) things were uneventful until the last half of the last lap.

Hime was on the front exiting the "Spy-clone", a spiral-in-spiral-out feature that seemed to just serve as a mid-lap recovery zone, and he stomped on it as soon as the dizziness wore off.  I knew it was coming and followed.  Dave had an issue on the steep spot behind (would have been a run-up if it had stairs) and lost the train.  I was on Hime's wheel as we came out of the uber loose left hand gravel turn and I counter attacked.  I probably should have been patient and saved my attack for after the barriers (learning!).  I led up to the barriers and Hime just edged me out remounting.  This gave him the lead for the rest of the lap and given the extremely loose gravel there really wasn't much of a sprint opportunity.

It was another good close race and hopefully I learned something along the way.

1) File treads are not king.
2) Work on being patient on a loose start, don't get anxious, just be smooth!
3) Be patient on the last lap, plan your attack relative to your weakness, not just the first opportunity.

After the race I coerced Dave to go for an hour long ride with me.  Good times!  I am glad that CX season is just about done but I will miss some of the great people I get to race with during the winter (that don't race MTB during summer).

Speaking of MTB, training is going fairly well.  I have been riding a good amount and my weight is coming back down.  There has been a lot of discussion on The Mann Show lately about bikes and whether "size matters".

You wouldn't think so by the picture, but this innocent looking bike started all this...
Allison demo'd a Specialized Epic Comp 29er 2 weekends ago.  She flew on the descents, it was sweet and I was stoked.   Totally beautiful.  On the other end of the spectrum, I have been training on my 2009 26" Sworks HT.  Yesterday we rode with some team mates who are really looking at stepping it up in 2012 and they spanked my butt going down hill, one of them was on a HT 29er!  Do the "Pros" of big wheels outweigh the "Cons" with the latest tires and wheels and forks?  Now the pressure is on.  I can't be giving up time on descents if I want to be on the podium at all.

What does all this mean?  Well after two weekends of testing it seems Allison's cockpit was too stretched out.  Size does matter!  Wider flat bars and a shorter inverted stem seemed to help her descending on the 26" FS, but is that even relevant if we consider the 29er FS as an option?  (then there is the task of figuring out whether a size Small is necessary, or if a Medium with a shorty stem is a better option).  The concept of changing race bike platform has my head spinning and my wallet cringing, not to mention me having to swallow my pride and revoke all the negative commentary on "wagon wheels".  Oh the horror...  :)

Beer doesn't help ease the pain.
With only one more 'Cross race on my schedule, and MTB racing creeping up on us, gearing up for 2012 and training consume us entirely.  Such is the life of the "wanna be pro" and "wish I could be fast CAT1" MTB racing duo known as The Mann Show.  We are so simple.

See you on the trails!

No comments: