Monday, June 16, 2014

Single Speed Fun at Route 66 Rumble

So after last weekend's failed attempt at gear'ed mtb'ing (and I do realize it was probably a mechanic's error - that's me) in Warsaw I got things swapped by SS style for yesterday's Route 66 Rumble in St. James, MO.
I had raced the MO State SS Champs a here a couple years back and remembered it being a fun flowing place and I was right.  Got to the course and just a few sprinkles hit the ground, but that was it for the day; trail was super tacky and the temp was pretty decent. 
Course was not near the one from a couple years ago; this one was super flow, then technical rocks, then rough rocks, more flow, technical climbs via rocks/roots, more flow...  A great mix of everything, but not the super flow I was expecting
Got to the start line of the marathon class and found a good sized field with a couple fast guys from Team Seagal (both on SS's) and Mark Gullet from Kuat.  Start was an open gravel road that went for a good bit (slightly downhill) before hitting the single track.  Filed in 3rd and that lasted for most of the lap until the two Seagal guys slipped off in the woods and I would never see them close again (until the finish).  A rider and I gaped Mark and that would grow lap after lap (each was right around 30 minutes).  With a couple laps to go the guy I was with/near had a mechanical issue and I increased the pace and never saw him again.  The race was going really well (even having 2 significant crashes) until the last 1/2 lap.  Hit a rough rocky section and my fork blew (oil everywhere); not a huge deal as it was close to the finish and not overly rough.  Then out of nowhere I 'Lebron'ed It'; yep, huge left hamstring cramp!  Got off my bike for over two minutes working it out and getting it relaxed and mobile again.  Pedaled a bit one-legged until the left one was good to use again.  I soft pedaled in with just enough to get 3rd and hold off Mark as he finished 20 seconds or so back.  In total just a tad over 3hrs racing.

Had to get out quick as it was a good sized field on a downhill run off the start

Fun hard race and hopefully I will get the fork fixed in time to get a last mtb race (next weekend) of the season before 'cross training starts.  Been riding for fun and endurance and in two weeks I stop riding and start training.  Can't wait!
Below is a quick clip of Ian knocking down a couple free throws last Friday night.  I don't take many videos during his games as I am too busy 'watching' to deal with the distraction.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

MO State MTB Champs; If It Ain't Broke...

...the classic 'Ain't Broke Don't Fix It' phase was perfect for this past weekend's Down and Dirty race in Warsaw, MO (also the MO State MTB Champs).   Mac and the Truman Bike crew always put their heart and souls into each of the mtb events they host and this was a typical A+ rating for them.  Weeks leading to this the Midwest received a constant dosing of rain, but the 5.8 mile section of trail they selected was not only super fast, but also incredibly dry and mud free.

So back up a couple weeks and I started thinking about throwing gears on the Trek Rig for some upcoming marathon races.  Nice thing about the Rig is the ease of moving from SS to gears and back.  So I switched up and did a handful of gravel rides on the gears and all worked well; even got 1 short trail ride at Sac and except for one chain drop it worked well.  Got the chain catcher dialed in a little better (so I thought) after Sac and figured I was ready for racing.

Sunday morning did the short drive up to Warsaw (1:10hr drive is as local as it gets for us) on a nice cool and dry morning.  Met up with fellow 360 Racing teammates Doug, Terry, Dale, Lyle, and Emily who were all racing their respective age/category events while I toed the line for the marathon.

Pretty small field, but not light on talent.  Long and short: felt pretty good fitness wise in the first lap, but two dropped chains and a Crank Bro Egg Beater pedal crushed on a rock had me chasing hard.  Figured on a five lap race for a little over 3+ hours so settled into a good rhythm for the haul.  Was in forth 1/4 way into the 2nd lap and chain drop number 3 and chain catcher jammed into ring had me simply call it a day; frustrated...

Three years I have raced various SS, open, and marathon events in single speed mode and have had decent success without one single mechanical, so why the heck did I change something up when it wasn't necessary?!?!?!?  Got home, threw all the geared stuff in a box and got the Rig back in SS mode for the upcoming races.  I am a decent mtb'er and love using it to hone handling skills and building base for 'cross, but have never had visions of grandeur so maybe I got caught up in wanting to try and be a 'fast guy' racing instead of riding the way I enjoy (SS).  Oh well, plenty more events coming up.

On the home front, the Saturday before the State race was Darion's 'Gotcha Day'; three years since he walked into our home and hearts.  Deb was with Ian at a basketball tourney in Arkansas (went 2-2) so Jake and I snagged the young man for a fun day.  Started off at D's favorite eat place - IHOP (have no idea why he loves it so), then off to indoor mini-golf, then to Sequiota Park for a huge game of Hide-n-Seek and trail wandering, and wrapped it up with a long bike ride in Bolivar.  It was a great day and D and I loved having Jake with us.

Always funny to see what he chooses to wear next.

Standard breakfast for him when at IHOP; big
question is which to start first...

The kid loves the TRX and it strong for
being pint sized

The night before Ian's Arkansas tourney he played in a three game shoot out with his school team (who are not the most talented group) so to ease the pain I took he and a teammate to Hurts Donut on the way home.  They were impressed with the 'whopper'.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Killing Time...

...until mid-July; that's when a true training schedule starts and focus is made.  Been riding consistent, but nothing of significant intensity.  Lately its been raining just enough to keep our local trails wet so most everything is on the road or Frisco.  Also, the humidity is cranking up... ugh!!!!
Meanwhile the Jones crew has been plenty busy with sports.  Darion is full into baseball, finished basketball camp and is also in summer school.
Little D is 2nd row 2nd from the left.  He played great

Ian is skipping summer school.  Basketball is in full flight as his travel team (the Ambush) has recently won a couple tourneys and also playing well at The Courts.  This month he is playing several shootouts with his school team and looks like he'll play with the high school JV (he's going into 8th grade) at a couple of their shoot outs. 

Pic of tourney champs with Anthony Tolivar - local
kid playing in the NBA

Jake is home for the summer and is riding with me from time to time along with working his JOB.  Fun having him on the bike.

Tons of work on the house and yard fills my days and weekends.  We put in a sidewalk on the back of the house from the driveway to the back door.  Happy with how it turned out.  Several other smaller projects always seem to need attention...  I love yard work (no joke, I really do).

Threw down grass seed and straw today; hopefully
filled in by the end of July

Backyard court is getting full attention as it seems most nights either Ian is out there shooting, he and I are playing 2 on 2 with the neighbors, or high school/college kids are playing.  Fortunate to have this and putting it to good use.

Race wise:  this weekend is the MO State race at Warsaw, will do either St. James (66 Rumble) or St. Joe the following weekend, then the KS State mtb race in Lawrence, KS after that (all marathon class).  That will wrap us base riding before two weeks laying low then full on 'cross.  Can't wait, so ready!