Sunday, May 4, 2008

So Who Won?

Missed out on the Psycowpath race today. I inquired the powers that be, and found out that I could have driven up and ridden in the sport race and not jeopardized my ability to race beginner for the rest of the year, but I decided it wasn't worth it. I did however plan on driving up and just riding some laps, but when I went out to the garage to load up my bike, I discovered I had a flat tire. Really strange too, because when I got the tube out, I couldn't find a leak. Not really sure how to explain that. I stuffed a new tube in just to be sure. Anyway, I ended up not doing any riding today.

I did get a ride in on Saturday however. Since I knew I wouldn't be racing this weekend, I headed out for my longest training ride of the year so far.

As soon as I hit the gravel, I could tell this was going to be a good ride. My legs felt really strong the whole time, and I pushed it pretty good through the wind and over the hills. It was just one of those perfect days. The route was good too. I am learning to appreciate anew the the beauty of Nebraska as viewed from a gravel road on a bicycle. I think next weekend I am going to ride to Elmwood to stretch it out to 50 miles. Anyone else interested?

Why would I do such a thing? Well, registration for the Laramie Enduro filled up this week, so I sent in my info to get on the waiting list. I am number ten on the list, and I am told this pretty much guarantees that I will be racing 111k in Laramie on July 26th. Let's get crazy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Psycowpath #2 - Postponed

Bummer. The Swanson race has been postponed until Sunday due to rain. Beginners go off at noon, so it looks like I won't be racing this week, as I am playing drums in our church's praise band. The earliest I would be able to get to Omaha is 12:30 pm, and even that would be pushing it. I might head out there in the afternoon anyway just to get some miles in and hang out.

The Psycowpath series only counts 5 of 7 races, so I will need to make it to every race from here on out since I had hoped to be able to drop the first race. No more freebies for me.

Who knows, maybe it will rain enough that they will have to postpone the race again. That would be great, for me anyway.


Headed up to Swanson tonight for the MTB OMAHA TNR. A little last minute recon before the race on Saturday. I tried to no avail to find someone to drive up with me, and as soon as I was on the interstate I was questioning my decision to go solo. I stuck it out however, and ended up having a great time.

I didn't know a single person that was going to be there, other than in the "I read your blog" sense, so when I showed up and got ready, I kinda stayed on the fringes of the group. The people I recognized I knew were really fast, and seeing how I had never ridden that trail before, I stayed toward the back of the group when the ride began. The course was quite different than I expected, so I wasn't able to ride very fast at the beginning, and therefore quickly lost contact with the guys in front of me. Too many roots and tight turns. After dropping into the "Gully" and walking out, I ended up following a nice woman named Ann(ie?) for the rest of the lap. This was great, I got to learn the trail from a local who was riding the same pace as I was.

At the end of the lap, I said thank you, and headed out for another. This lap was much better, and I was pleased to find that I remembered most of the sections that I needed to remember. Back in the parking lot, as I was getting ready to pack up my bike, a couple of the BMCC guys came over. One of them, Tim W., had some nice things to say about my bike, and was super helpful answering a bunch of questions I had about raceday at Swanson. Thanks Tim!

It was mentioned that part of the TNR involves getting food afterward, but I needed to head back to Lincoln. Overall, a really fun night, on a cool trail. I hope to make it back up for another TNR.

Just a couple of notes about the course:
  • Tim indicated that in the past the "Gully" had been taped off for the race. I'm kind of hoping thats true for Saturday, because I can just imagine the potential carnage.
  • This course requires absolute focus. Some of the corners would be downright dangerous if you were to blow through them. There's one particular downhill switchback that is really easy to carry too much speed into.
  • If you've never been there before it will definitely be worth your time to get there early on Saturday to do a pre-ride. In my opinion, bike handling will be just as important as fitness for this race. Plus, it will help to close the gap on all the Omaha racers riding their 'home' course.
  • Some of the newer sections are really bumpy. My hands and arms were feeling it by the end of the night. I even ended up with a blister on my left hand. I'm still learning how to ride this rigid bike on rough terrain.
I could say more, but I won't. See you at the race.