Tuesday, April 29, 2014

OMBA - Nice to Race Close

I can't tell you how nice it is drive twenty minutes to a race start.  The reason I bring this up is it only happens a couple times for us SWMO folks a year.

This past weekend the OMBA was held on Saturday which worked great as Ian had a two day basketball tourney in Carthage, MO and his first game wasn't until that afternoon.

Lot's of regional races going on so the fields were lighter than typical, but a decent bunch of guys showed up for the marathon event.  360 Racing teammate Doug Long and local mtb guru Mark Gullett were on hand and would make for a good race. 

Three hours on a 5.7 mile loop (the smoothest sections of Sac were used) had me guessing we'd easily knock out six laps (and we did).  After a good start I led into the woods, but pulled over letting Mark take the lead as he is so much smoother on single track and I was holding him up a bunch.

Course was wet (not good on the tons of roots and rocks) for the first half then dried as the sun came out making it a much faster and way less technical.  At the end of three laps Mark was gone up front and was told Doug wasn't too far behind.  I felt better and smoother the longer the race went and at the start of the sixth lap the folks at the start/finish line said Mark was only 45 seconds up; time to ramp it up even more.  The last lap was the hardest I've ridden in quite a while and with about 1.5 miles to go I caught Mark.  I jumped around him on a short punchy climb and buried myself for the next minute opening a huge gap.  I was fortunate to hold that gap to the finish and snag 1st place.  Mark came in shortly after followed by Doug. 

Once again I had a blast on the ol' SS hardtail as it was perfect for that course. 

Jumped to the front prior to the single track; shortly
after I yielded that position to Mark

Cale and the Mercy-Kuat crew got us up on off the podium in record time and I immediately hit the road to meet up with Deb and D to catch Ian's games. 

Always fun getting an 'envelop' at the end of a race...
Fun weekend watching ball and spending a ton of time with D in the hotel pool.  Ian's crew finished the tourney in 2nd; losing in the Championship game by 1pt. 

Trying to decide between the 5.5hr drive to Lake Wilson in Kansas for the Kansas Fat Tire Festival (Saturday afternoon marathon race and Sunday a 29 mile Open XC race) or put on the 'skinny tires' and race the 2 day 3 event VeloTek GP in Lawrence (2.75 hours).  Pros and cons to each.  Probably decide on Wednesday or Thursday...

Monday, April 14, 2014

April Means...

Time to pin some numbers on here and there and actually ride with a little focus.

For me this is the time of year when I start looking for a handful of 3+ mtb races in order to get some good base miles while working to improve bike handling.  Once again I am riding the 30lbs (I have no idea, just feels that way compared to what I see around the start lines...) Trek Rig in full single speed mode.  Every year I think I should get something sexy and maybe even with gears then I go ride/race, have tons of fun on the 'girlfriend' I got, and simply pedal.

Up first was last weekend's Feel The Burn endurance race in Warsaw, MO.  Race was 40+ miles and going into it I knew my legs had around 3hrs of solid riding and on top of that I really needed to get back home early on race day.  So, after 3 laps and just a hair under 3 hrs I pulled up the officials and told them I was out and heading home.  They let me know I was in 2nd place in the Cat 1 40+ class, but that was not of concern as I got a solid workout and was heading home.

Fun day, rough course, little muddy here and there with more climbing then I remembers from years before.  Big fans of Mac and his crew at Truman Lake Bikes.

Good turnout

It's hard to get a good spot into single track when the start
is on an open downhill and I was riding a SS (me in 2nd wheel)

Up next was this past weekend's Bone Bender in Lawrence, KS.  Not much elevation, but plenty of rocks and open asphalt (which the later is never fun on a SS).  Temps were warm, but overly hot and with a new 37 miles course (no longer 3hr/6hr) I was thankful for a light breeze and some cloud cover. 
Good attendance and great bunch of guys (and gals).  Chris Locke and crew do a great job on this and other events. 
Rode pretty well and by day's end I was 2nd in the SS class on 14th or 15th overall.  The kid who won the SS from Ethos is a brutal machine (very impressive).  Fun 3hr 23min day.
Loving the new 360 kit (and team)

G Hamilton (winner) is a monster on the SS
So after the race it was time to meet the 360 Racing team at a little 'kick off' shindig in KC.  Great bunch of folks and super stoked for the upcoming 'cross season, but in the meantime I'll look for some more mtb and a handful of road (no crits this year) races to build up some fitness.