Friday, March 25, 2011
I'm bored and shaking from caffeine so here's a new post!!
When this year began I decided to focus once again on racing in the woods. As of this post my training has been coming along nicely, I managed to stay motivated through the dark times and make it to March with a little (very little) fitness.
With March comes daylight savings, which I think should be done away with but anyway, this means group rides, riding after work, and hopefully the end of the trainer...For the most part this has been the case.
The past few weeks the singletrack at Swope has been perfect!! It's been dry enough to be fast with enough moisture to provide tons of grip everywhere!! This is also known as "hero dirt". Meaning you can ride as fast as you dare with the fear of sliding out or losing traction at a really inopportune moment. FREAKIN EPIC!!!
Anyway...I like to think I can ride with the best of 'em, and for the most part I can. There's not much terrain out there that I fear on a MTB, and for the most part can ride everthing fast...or so I thought...
On this past Wednesday I agreed to meet a friend at Swope for a ride and to give some pointers to help this weedhopper along. I show up and notice another rider with the same team kit he wears, I immediately think to myself, this is not good...I don't know the guy personally but recognize him from racing in the woods and finishing behind him...
So we mount up and decide to spin up the pavement to the trailhead, which is about a 1/4 mile. In this time this guy Tom says he has already ridden a lap, meaning he's warmed up and you guys are gonna go blind as soon as we hit the dirt...remember the "this is not good thought"??? I was right!!!
We drop into the trail, and immediately go to warp speed. The order is Tom, Weedhopper, and myself. Weedhopper is doing good considering this is his 2nd time on his new MTB, and probably his 10th ish time in the woods. He was definitely riding on the ragged edge of his ability!! I was impressed though.
So we're hammering along, the gap from Tom to Weedhopper is getting wider, but there's no place to pass, and even if there was, no warm up and the fact I was going blind from pain would've prevented a pass anyway. The first loop is about 2.5 miles long, mostly flat and and FAST!!
We finish the first loop, and roll across to the technical loop, now I'm thinkin this should slow down A LOT, because it gets crazy technical, with big rocks and Tom is riding a 29er hardtail. I'm thinking oh yeah, gonna return the favor now...WRONG!!! The first section of rocks comes and I stay with him. It smooths out a bit and a small gap opens. No worries, there is plenty more technical riding to come!!
Well...I was wrong. Tom is a freakin machine on a hardtail!! He flat out rode away from me. I was totally impressed and will give props where they are due...he got 'em!!
It has been a long time since I had my ass handed to me on dirt outside of an MTB race. It was humbling to say the least. I kinda knew it was gonna be fast, but it was BRUTAL. Oh well, I needed the eye opener for the season ahead.
This may sound like an excuse but it's a fact. Tom is at least a 2 on the road, and Rides for the Mercy team with Weedhopper. They have been racing on the road already and have held their training camp in the mountains of Arkansas.
I on the other hand, have just introduced high intensity riding into my training about 2 weeks ago...With that being said, I did better than I thought I would. I think a warm up lap would've made it a little easier, but the result would have been the same...getting my ass handed to me and suffering greatly in the process.
If you know me, you have probably heard me say "it doesn't matter what level you ride or race, there will always be someone faster". It's a fact.
So if you ride a lot, check your ego at the door, because at some point it's gonna get stomped on by someone faster.