Friday, March 27, 2009

Wonderful, Wonderful Taxes

We overpaid the taxes by a lot. Half of the refund is kind of looking like a cyclocross bike.

Something tough like this?

Salsa La Cruz is interesting for its 135mm rear hub spacing, disk breaks, and other MTB parts.  It seems like it would be on the heavy and slow side.  It would be compatible with parts I already have, which is nice

Something fast like this?
I might not loose my ass so much in the fall CX cat 4 races with a real competition bike like this.  Something with an AL frame and a carbon fork around, say, 19 lb. would be very quick.  Not as tough for trail riding, though.

Monster cross?

Build up a Karate Monkey or Cross-Check into something like this?  This bike oozes "cool".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mountain Bike Racing Secrets

For what it's worth, here are some "secrets" I learned in my racing and training.

* Get a plan to train. Follow the book "The Mountain Biker's Training Bible", buy a plan from Lynda W., get a coach like TJ, or whatever. Just get a plan and follow it.

* Make your plan adaptable. Family, friends, work, and flooded basements come first.

* If you have a goal event, do other races first to see what it might be like.

* During your training period, get thin. It's much easier to loose a pound off the average person's body that the average person's bike. Be kind of hungry sometimes.

* Don't push it going down hill. It's a waste of energy and potentially dangerous. Going uphill fast is how races are won.

* Train to your weaknesses. An XC mountain biker needs endurance and the ability to put out 1-5 minute all out efforts. If you have great top end speed, but poor endurance (like a sprinter), train your endurance and long intervals.

* Learn how to eat and drink on your bike. Find food and drink you like and figure out how much of it you need for a given effort. Energy drinks work fine for an hour or two. Anything longer and you'll want a gel or an energy bar. Hammer Nutrition has a very good line of products.

* Before spending a ton of money on a bike, make sure you will have enough leftover for the other stuff you need like padded shorts, water bottles, a car rack, emergency tools, etc.

* NO MATTER WHAT, keep it real and have fun!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lake Minnetonka Ride

Sunday, I went out on a ride around roughly 1/2 of Lake Minnetonka. I saw a bunch of other club riders on the way: Flanders on the roll out from 44th St., Penn Cycle going the opposite direction as me about half way through, a group of unidentified blue jerseyed riders a little later also going the opposite direction, and a Grandstay rider (also opposite direction) at the end, where I was about to take my 5th wrong turn. I get the impression that clockwise was not the preferred direction on that loop. Why is that? Wind? Traffic? Better lane? It was a great ride, but some of the narrow stretches give met the heebie geebies.

Anyway, it was a good learning experience. I will be doing that again, and maybe on a road bike.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Random Happenings

So I went to pick up the new kit at the bike shop that sponsors the team / club. The long sleeve jersey is waaaay nicer than I expected - super warm and tough. I'm normally not one to wear flashy logos on my person during an around town ride, but it was the perfect thing for the weather this Saturday. I set out, apprehensively. About half way through my ride, I spot a cyclist emerging from a cross street - wearing the same thing I was. "Hmm" I said to myself, "that's weird. I wonder if he or she rides for my team too?" (I don't know everybody yet) It turned he did, in fact he is the store owner.

We chatted a bit and wound up riding around for a while. He showed me a couple new lower traffic routes I may try again someday. It's a bit weird riding with other people out on the road. I get the sense that there's definitely some etiquette involving pulling at the front, or pacing, or something. Anyway, we must have looked hilarious in our matching jerseys riding around in our Frankenstein winter beater bikes.

Good times. I'll have to try a more organized group ride sometime.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009