Monday, February 28, 2011

White Tanks MBAA Race

Even though we spent all of last weekend in Oracle racing at the 24 Hour Race, Anna wasn't about to skip the MBAA race this weekend at the White Tanks Regional Mountain Park.  Our friend Paula rode up with us to do the marathon division of the race. 

What was pretty cool about his race is that Ben Sonntag (winner of La Ruta), Jason Sager and Adam Snyder (all of Team Jamis) showed up to compete in the race.  They are all high caliber int'l pro mountain bike racers.    

One of the Devo racers had some "issues" with his Voodoo frame.  He walked back to the start carrying his bike in two pieces.  Luckily, he wasn't seriously hurt.

 Brodie competed in his first ever race.  He did very well considering he was the only kid on a strider.  Besides being awarded a medal, he also won a horn for his strider, which he's holding in his hand.  Anna also did very well and accumulated more points towards the series championship.  

Here is a short video

Here is a more in-depth video.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

One Beer Short of a Six Pack

Filling a five-person team to do a 24 hour mountain bike has proved to be a challenging task.  I tried last year, but when it came to crunch time several team members realized they weren't committed enough to train for an event of this magnitude.  This year we recruited a more serious team of riders and it paid off.  Jeremy was chosen to do the first lap based on his running pedigree.  He's more of a runner than a biker so we knew he could handle the half-mile run.  After the first lap we checked the standings and discovered we were in 30th place out of 41 teams.  Since this was a very long race we didn't worry too much and knew that consistency was the key.  By our fifth lap (80 miles or so) we had moved up to 20th place.  At that point our aspirations were to stay in the top 20. 

Anna and I traveled up the race on Thursday morning with Martin from M&M.  We were planning on reserving a great spot to set up our camps before the rest of our teams arrived.  Turned out a lot of racers showed up earlier that normal and 24 Hour Town was packed.  Luckily, Tim from Ironclad Cycles in Prescott saved us some room in a primo spot right next to the expo area.  The first camper in this photo was our campsite.  On the second photo, that's the transition tent and the expo in the background.

After we got our camp set up on Thursday, Martin took Anna and I out to pre-ride part of the race course.  When we got back to camp, Martin broke out the Fat Tire and Cheetos and we started a campfire.  We were treated to an amazing Arizona sunset.  Here is a photo of Anna taking a photo of the sunset.  

Joe and Jay (our two ringers) showed up Friday morning.

Jeremy showed up Saturday morning just in time to get changed out and get ready to do the first lap.  Here's his bike in the bike/run transition area.

Lance Armstrong, Jay, Anna, and Fuzzy hanging out waiting for the start of the race.

Here's Gabe, AKA "The Machine" showing his "game face".

Martin, Gabe, and Alex (Team M&M) discussing their game plan for Mike's run-to-bike transition.  Jay and Anna (in the background) wondering why WE don't have a game plan.

Here's Mike grabbing his bike for the first lap.

At the end of the race course is a rock formation where people gather to watch the riders negotiate the rock, secretly hoping to see someone go over their handlebars.

Believe it or not, this was one of the faster racers and he walked down the rock.  People booed him relentlessly, especially when the girl (the racer in the photo behind him) rode past him down the rock.  As you can see from the photo he was waving (with one finger) to all the spectators booing him.

Robby (from one of the SVFD teams) rode down the rock, but only after some serious contemplation at the top of the rock.

Turns out Joe is sponsored by Steep and Cheap!

The weather forecast for the weekend was constantly changing and the only thing that seemed consistent was that we were undoubtedly going to be experiencing some nasty weather.  The weather at the start of the race was actually pretty nice, but by the late afternoon the wind had picked up to 30 to 40 MPH gusts.  By nightfall, the rain came and then we had high winds and lots of rain.  Joe got wet during the latter part of his first lap and it poured during my whole first lap.  I decided to forgo insulating layers, which would probably just get soaked, in favor of waterproof jacket and pants.  Worked well for me.  The rain stopped shortly after my lap, which was a relief.

We kept the fire going all night. 

Here's Anna getting ready for her second lap of the race.

Jay warming up by the fire after his last lap.

Besides consuming large quantities of Fat Tire and cheese puffs the night before the race, Martin shared his other techniques for consistently riding sub 1:15 laps - a muscle roller and a Nestle Crunch therapeutic pillow.

Martin ate so many cheese puffs over the weekend that he was dreaming of this girl.

 Anna wiped out on her second lap while trying to hold a conversation with another racer.  Lucky, she wasn't seriously hurt and her bike survived the wreck.

Jay (the Mr. Miyagi of mountain biking) convinces Jeremy to drink some pickle juice to help alleviate his leg cramps.  Jay is an experienced 24 Hour racer so he has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve.  Turned out the pickle juice worked great! 

Jeremy (with a belly full of pickle juice) getting ready for his last lap of the race.

Here is helmet cam video from my last lap of the race.

We ended up completing 15 laps (approximately 240 miles) and jumped up to 14th place (out of 41 teams).  We were all happy with the result and we can't wait until next year to try it again. did a story about the 24 Hour Race and it just so happened they featured a photo of Anna in the story.  Here the link and below is the photo.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bisbee Loop

 In preparation for the 24-Hour Race next weekend, Anna and I decided to do the Bisbee Loop today.  We met Gina in the Applebees parking lot and then off we went - destination Bisbee! Anna had never rode the Bisbee Loop before so she was in for a treat. Gina stayed with us until Kings Ranch Road and then she turned back. She wasn't feeling up to the whole loop.  Nice weather and not much wind.  All-in-all it was a great day for a ride.

We stopped off at Bisbee Breakfast Club to refuel.

 The ride ended up being 65.46 miles.


Anna and I went to Tucson on Sunday and we happened to check out the Trek Store on Campbell since neither of us had been there before.  We were surprised to see they had Anna's dream road bike (in her size even!) on display in the shop.  The store was really busy so one of the mechanics came over to help her out.  Turns out he was a seasonal bike shop employee.  He works at a Specialized dealer in Aspen, CO during the summer months and works at the Trek shop in Tucson during the winter months.  He happens to ride a Specialized road bike and a Trek mountain bike, and had a lot of firsthand advice for Anna.  He had Anna take the bike for a long test spin.  After talking to him she is even more confident that THIS is the bike she wants.  She just needs to save up a little more.  Hopefully by June.

My homemade bike work bench.  Still a lot of tools I would like to have.