Monday, July 30, 2012
If you know me REALLY well, you know that when I get sick or injured I tend to make large purchases. Albeit it wasn't a house, a car, a full sleeve tattoo, or a vacation home, it was still an $800 expenditure once we got all the cases/covers/speakers/etc. Since sitting at home and resting instead of racing and playing was on the agenda this weekend, we utilized the little guy quite a bit. I do have to say, it's a pretty fun little toy!
at 8:59 AM
Friday, July 27, 2012
Thanks to Bryce's dad and superstar photographer, I have some pretty sweet photos of my new dirt bike!
Although I was feeling very un-photogenic, he snapped a few fun pics of me with my new rig before her maiden voyage.
Enjoy the photos and don't forget to visit www.brentbinghamphotography.com to check out all of Brent's amazing work!
at 8:48 PM
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Since last year's cyclocross season was cut short due to the Chronic Fatigue relapse, I have been overly excited for the 2012/2013 season to start. When I found out about the mid summer race at Dealer Camp a few months ago, I thought it would be a perfect way to dust off the cobwebs and also a great reason to get my new bikes built up a little early :) After finding out my little brother was moving to the area just a few weeks prior, it was even more enticing to get out there.
Although I have been struggling with my health recently, more to come on that, I decided to just give the race a go. I put in so much time and effort getting my new Litespeed CX built and ready to race that I would have felt guilty not going through the motions. I truly just wanted to trip on a barrier and get it out of the way so that I didn't have to worry about it later in the season :) Fortunately that wasn't the case, however, I did get run into so hard during the first lap that I went catapulting off my bike resulting in bent bars, no rear shifting and some nice road rash. Feeling as crappy as I have been, it was probably a good thing I just cruised the rest of the race.
Other than the mechanical and uncomfortableness of dirty wounds, I was having a blast riding my new titanium cross bike with disc brakes. I am without a doubt incredibly rusty on my barrier and mounting skills but with the 'real' CX season several months away, I've got lots of time to practice. I can't thank my amazing teammate, Trista and her family enough for all the cheers and support. In the end, my little brother, Jerry, was truly the savior of the day - he drove me around to every convenience store I needed, listened to me whine about how sick I am of being sick and helped me prepare and make sure the whole race went as smooth as possible!
After the race, we headed back to his place where we chatted for a bit then hit the hay. We both slept in (if you call 7am sleeping in) and enjoyed a nice relaxing morning. Since Jerry's house is literally within feet of trail, we went for a sweet 2hr hike that had amazing views of the city at the top. I cannot believe how neat and convenient Salt Lake City really is minus the abundance of very bizarre Mormans. All in all, it was so great to check out little brother's new digs and see how happy he is. Now to take some time off the bike and figure out why I have don't have an appetite and keep losing weight unwillingly.
at 8:57 PM
Monday, July 23, 2012
This past weekend was Melanie Long's bachelorette party. Unlike normal pre-wedding get togethers with the same gender, most of the weekend involved mountain biking versus heavily drinking and/or causing a ruckus at the bar :)
We had a great group of girls and the mountain biking in Breckenridge was awesome. It's too bad I wasn't able to stay for the whole weekend, but I had a blast for the time I was there. That is my kind of bachelorette party!
at 8:06 AM
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Other than a few adjustments to the brake pedal, everything seemed to be working great. I may need to find a shorter shift lever since I have such a small foot, but those are minor details. Bryce took it out for a spin to test the suspension and said he thought it felt great. Big thanks to Kyle Shaffer at Dango's Damping for helping me make it just right for my short little legs!
Here is a short clip of some of the trails we rode. I am absolutely in love with the bike and how powerful the motor is and cannot wait to race it tomorrow. I always forget how fun all the trails are right above Bryce's house in Vail and definitely see why he loved growing up there :)
at 8:45 AM
Thursday, July 19, 2012
After a failed first attempt to have a decent race at one of the weekly CU Short Track races a few weeks back, I decided it was time for some vengeance! The Dealer Camp CX race is less than a week away so another short/hard race scenario effect is exactly what I need.
I felt absolutely horrendous all day and barely ate anything (still working on trying to figure out this whole stomach issue). However, I knew this race was an important piece of my training for the upcoming CX race so I slammed an Ensure and rallied like a rockstar :) Luckily it was a small field but like every race in Boulder, there were some heavy hitters.
I missed my pedal at the start and unfortunately started in 4th for the first few laps but eventually made my way up to 2nd where I chased my good friend Erin for the last 20min. The course was super fun and I felt pretty good until the last lap where I started getting pretty nauseous. I bet it was because I averaged 190bmp for 28min! Although it didn't feel very good (racing isn't really supposed to anyway), I'm glad I got my butt out there. As my coach said later that night, " It’s an important lesson to know that you don’t have to feel good to be able to go fast".
at 7:22 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
In less than one week, I somehow managed to get everything together for Daimo to build up one of my 2012 cyclocross bikes! I'm so excited to be riding a titanium frame with electronic shifting and disc brakes and cannot wait to race on it.
I've done a quick barrier practice ride on it so far and it was awesome! Stay tuned for a full product review and much better pictures in the near future!
at 5:19 PM
Monday, July 16, 2012
This past Saturday was the 3rd race in the Winter Park mountain bike series. It's a point to point race that starts at the ski resort in Winter Park and traverses across the mountain and ends in Fraser, less than a mile from our house. It's one of my favorite courses but unfortunately my body just wasn't ready to be thrashed for 2hrs. I've still been battling this horrid stomach virus and until I can get a full meal down, it's probably smartest to lay low and avoid putting myself in another hole. However, I was able to ride out to the race with Bryce, Lara and Corey to watch them start. I then helped sweep the course and picked up trash behind all the racers. I seriously must have picked up 100 gel packets...yuck! The weather couldn't have been any better for the start and 75% of my ride. Unfortunately, the afternoon storm hit as I was still out riding but we have all been praying for rain so I was actually really excited...plus I had my rain jacket too so it wasn't too bad!
On our way to the race, we spotted this HUGE moose right off the bike path between town and the ski resort. I've only seen one other moose before so it was really cool.
Since I am still planning on racing the cyclocross race at Dealer Camp on July 24th, I decided to jump into the Short Track race on Sunday. I figured that even though I haven't ridden, eaten or done much of anything the last two weeks, a 20min hard effort wouldn't kill me. Well it didn't kill me but holy crap is racing full out on zero training/energy at 9000ft HARD! It was a 1.5 mile bumpy course that was suited 100% to a full suspension bicycle (of which I did not have). My good friend Sherri had an awesome race and rocked out the W, while I held on for dear life in third. This was the only race of the series with a pro payout so it was cool to come home with a bit of cash :) The biggest take home was that I was able to crank out a solid effort without getting nauseous (at least during the race). I'm going to see if I can put together a decent showing at CU's STXC this Wednesday and then hopefully not make too big of a fool of myself at the race in Utah next week.
Bryce also scored a win and added some points to his overall series standings. We won a $25 gift certificate to a great pizza joint in town and a free massage! Neither one of us ever win anything in raffles so it was really exciting to come home with a few gifts. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the condo then sitting in traffic on I-70. Who would have thought it would be bumper to bumper at 9:30pm?!? Colorado really needs to figure out how to make this ongoing issue disappear because it really does take the fun out of going up to the mountains.
at 5:18 PM
Friday, July 13, 2012
Thanks to Tim Hola, we did our first GPS watch clinic at the Road Runner Sports in Westminster this past week.
As usual, I had some great conversations with the attendees but the woman above's story was by far the most intriguing. She told us that instead of wearing a watch and using time to keep track of her run workouts, she carries her phone in hand with headphones attached and judges her distance by how many songs have gone by on her very specific playlist. She uses the Nike GPS App as well but only looks at it at the end of the workout and says it's generally very inaccurate. We got her set up with the new Marathon watch which tracks time/distance/pace and a few other simple things, and she said she really liked it. I definitely foresee a new Timex Marathon in her future!
We also had runners demo both the Run Trainer and the Global Trainer during this session. They all really enjoyed the watches and had fun playing with the data afterwards. I love Timex :)
at 6:32 PM
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I couldn't be more excited to announce that I will be riding and racing on Reynolds wheels for the 2012/2013 Cyclocross season! They are one of the leading wheel manufacturers in the sport with a killer reputation and rock solid products. They are always on the forefront of innovation which sparked the opportunity to create a new relationship. With the emergence and legality of racing on disc brakes in the sport of Cyclocross, Reynolds took the opportunity and ran with it. They are one of the few companies producing a carbon tubular road wheel that is disc brake compatible and also incorporates all the qualitative features from their current product line. A big thanks goes out to my girl Rebecca Gross for the introduction and Rob Aguero from Reynolds for the rad opportunity! Stay tuned for more updates with pictures and reviews as the CX race at Dealer Camp in Utah is less than two weeks away! Until then, click on the image above to visit their website and click here to check out and 'LIKE' their Facebook Page!
at 8:15 AM
Monday, July 09, 2012
This past weekend was a bit out of the ordinary for us as I still wasn't feeling so great. However, I was able to produce a big smile after picking up my new KTM 250XCF on Friday afternoon :) I'm in the process of re-building the suspension and getting all my new parts and accessories in order so stay tuned for a more detailed post with lots of pictures!
After a very mellow day on Saturday, we were in the process of getting ready for Courtney and Tito's wedding shower when the biggest rain storm that I have ever seen before hit Boulder. The party was scheduled at a park so we called to find out what the alternative plans were if it rained. Unfortunately they did not have any and Bryce offered our house up in order to save the day! We did a 10min power clean and sure enough, hosted 30 people for their wedding shower! It couldn't have worked out any better and it was a super fun party :)
at 8:43 PM
Friday, July 06, 2012
From the first day I laid eyes on Litespeed's new 29er mountain bike at the Interbike show in 2011, I couldn't wait to get on it and see what a titanium bike is all about. Below is a quick recap of how I've set up my 2012 race machine and my impressions of how it performs.
The Cohutta is designed for a 31.6 diameter seatpost but I wanted to run a 27.2 post for the added shock and vibration damping. In order to do this, I had to insert a small aluminum sleeve in the seat tube. The 27.2 post helps soften the impact of the hardtail frame and is just the right amount of flex for a rider of my size.
I've been experimenting with many saddles this season and ended up right where I began. I have always run the Specialized Phenom on all of mountain bikes because of its light weight, stiff feel and narrow shape which makes getting behind the saddle during the descents much easier. Since I have always ridden mountain bikes with rear suspension the hard seat never bothered me. However, losing the squish in the rear makes a huge difference when trying to sit and pedal through rough terrain. I gave the Fizik Vesta a try as it was much wider and softer but it ended up being way too wide for technical descents that I need to scoot back for. I'm still looking for that perfect narrow but soft seat with female geometry. Until then, I'm back on the Phenom and toughing it out :)
In my opinion, wheel and tire selection is the most important part of a bike set up. Now that I am on the 29 inch bike, having a lightweight wheel setup can be a very large advantage. This year, I've decided to run the Stans ZTR Race Gold wheels with Maxxis 29er Ikon tires - this may be lightest and fastest rolling setup on the market. Many heavier riders will not enjoy the 1350g wheels because they can be a bit flexy, but luckily my smaller stature allows me to get away with them.
For the second year in a row, I am running the Fox 32 100mm fork. It is a great feeling fork for racing that is stiff and sturdy and also incorporates the innovative tapered steerer design. I am definitely looking forward to dropping a 1/2lb and getting a remote lockout for the updated model in 2013!
Unlike most of my previous race bikes, I'm running a 2x10 drivetrain. I have always run a triple because of how steep the trails are here in Colorado but I'm actually loving the taller gearing on the Litespeed. I was apprehensive about using it this year because of my bad experience when I wasn't as fit but now that I'm stronger, I really love it. I would love a 24 tooth inner chainring but I'll live with the 26 and 12x36 cassette.
My friends at The Service Course - a Boulder bicycle service shop - helped me finish up the build on the Cohutta and set it up with some professional touches. The used fully sealed Nokon shift cables for added wear protection, crisp shifting and reduction in weight.
After being stuck on the trail with a broken chain earlier in the year, they also added a quick link chain link on my brake cable for speedy race ready fixes.
I put the 'excuse me' bell on :)
I'm extremely happy with how the bike came together and especially with how it performs. The titanium frame has an unbelievably wonderful feel and Litespeed's innovative design and geometry brought in all the hot new features. From adding a PressFit 30 bottom bracket to designing the headtube opening for a tapered steerer tube fork, it's perfect marriage of modern technology and classic craftmanship. In an era of primarily carbon bikes, it's fun and refreshing to ride a top performing, American made, beautiful titanium bike!
at 8:37 PM
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Flipping bicycles each year is totally second nature to me but flipping a dirt bike is a completely different ball game! After riding my 2008 KTM 250XCF for the past 3 years, I've decided to trade it in for a new model with linkage and fuel injection. It was pretty tough convincing me to do so because I absolutely LOVE this bike and honestly couldn't think of any reason to get a new one. The custom suspension is perfect, the bike runs like a charm and I'm finally starting to have lots of confidence while riding and racing it! However, I'm sure that I will love all the newer features and it will be nice to have the same model year as Bryce's bike so we can switch and swop parts when needed. I know it's silly, but the hardest part about giving this bike up is losing the sentimental value of it. Purchasing this bike from Bryce was responsible for creating our happiness and future together :) Yes, super sappy but very true.
Not only did we decide to upgrade my ride, but we also decided to downsize our collection of motor bikes. Bryce had been holding on to the 450XCW I bought him in 2010 but it wasn't getting much use since our big trail rides are limited. We mutually agreed that it would be best to each have one bike that gets upgraded more often than keep multiple in the garage. So, as of today, we are down to Bryce's race bike and we're very much looking forward to picking up my new one this Saturday!
at 8:53 AM
Monday, July 02, 2012
The first real mountain bike race of the 2012 Winter Park series has arrived!!! Hooray! As excited as I was, I have to admit there was quite a bit of anxiety and worry going on inside my head considering how the past couple weeks have unfolded. Ever since the dirt bike race in WY a few weeks ago, I have been battling horrible nausea and dehydration. The weather on the front range as been in the triple digits almost every day and without AC, it's been extremely rough. Needless to say, I have been on a 2 days of nausea and no eating then 1 day of feeling good kick that has repeated since Jun 17th. I have no idea how I got so lucky but it timed itself perfectly where I was able to eat breakfast and feel good before the start of Saturday's race. I pounded the Pedialyte hoping to replenish as many electrolytes as possible and told myself that if I felt like I was going to put myself in a hole, I would relax and just simply finish!
As we lined up for the start, there were a lot of familiar faces. There were also a lot of extremely fast girls that don't normally come out to these races so it was really cool to have such a strong field. My goal was to be smart about how I was feeling, consistent with my effort and focus on riding technically well in effort to stay efficient throughout the race. As always, the start straight up the fire road was tough and intense but I stayed within my HR ranges and jumped into the singletrack in 5th position where I managed to stay all day. I could see 3rd and 4th for almost the entire race but I was being cautious of not overdoing it and making sure to take in fluids on every opportunity possible. Other than a crazy over the handlebar crash on a loose rocky decent and a few dropped chains, the day went very smooth and I was extremely pleased with my place considering the caliber of girls out there and my 85%ish effort. Sunday was another crappy day and today isn't looking any better either so it might be time to get some bloodwork or get on a high dose of probiotics to destroy whatever is making me feel so crappy. Stay tuned!
at 9:07 AM