Monday, August 3, 2009

Hodges Dam and FTS!

I think I left my legs at the 12 hours of 909. I haven't been the same. The last 2 weeks has been a struggle to recover and I'm still wondering when I'm going to feel the benifit of killing myself for 11 hours of mtbing. Hodges Dam race was an experiment race since I had nothing to lose. I chose to get all "Monte/Parsons" and put a stupid gear on. Rob Stine had the same gear inch as me. I ran a 34x17 and he ran a 36x16! The difference is in the wheels. 29 vs. 26. I feel bad for Stine because he had a flat tire. He's been having a rough season with mechanicals. Sounds like last year for me. I came in 11th out of 20.

I was 1 tooth overgeared I think. I could still climb a lot of the course but I just couldn't get it going. I got to ride with the superb Todd Wheelden for a couple of laps and then he saw my weakness and hammered on the flat fireroads. I saw him click through the gears and pedal slower and pull away. I thought I had a monster gear but I guess I could have used something more for the flats, which this course had lots of. The truth is I suck on the flats even on the road bike. I think I do much better on the hills. I don't know why. Todd and I when back and forth and we were hammering it for the 2nd and 3rd laps. I thought for sure we would catch someone. But it wasn't enough. I don't know how to ride any faster.

Congrats to Kevin Sweeney. If you read his blog you will see how wet the course was. I didn't mind the course but I was swearing a bit on the first lap. But after that I didn't really care anymore. June and July we have had the most rain ever recorded for the last 200 years! I've learned how to ride in the slop much better this year.

And now FTS!

During the race I was having some doubts. "I have doubts!" (From the movie Doubt) Great scene! So I was having some doubts that I would become even grass root sponsored by some big company. I was planning on trying to upgrade to "Pro" for next year because 2 seasons ago I was in sport then last year I upgraded to Expert and currently Cat 1. So it just makes sense that I would upgrade to "Pro" for next year.

I've been racing the Pro/Cat 1 open class all season. I did win $100 down in PA for 6th place but that was my best performance of the year. You don't get nothin' for 6th place in the pro class for RT66. This has left a bad taste in my mouth. What the F am I doing in the Pro/Cat 1 open class? If I raced the Cat 1 30-39 age group I would be on the podium every time and taking home some swag or green.

I thought my new bike would make me faster, and it is, I think, but it hasn't really propelled me to the top. I'm still placing somewhere in the middle of the pack. It seems like the top few guys that go to all of the races are really the only ones racing each other in the pro class. All that the cat 1s do is fill up the starting line and maybe get a hole shot, but that's about it. Bye bye birdy.

So would I be sandbagging if I returned to the cat 1 30-39? I don't think so. Hodges dam was a good example that there are still some fast Cat 1 racers out there. Kevin Sweeney would have crushed the 30-39 field. Instead he got 6th place at a pro open. My question would be this, Where are you going? Do you want to get a coach and "Train?" Do you want to ride 15 hours a week? I can barely recover from the racing to get any time in on the bike. Right now I don't even want to ride.
I finally ordered some shoes. These look good and they're full carbon. My last shoes just had velcro straps and they worked great. I think they will be nice and light.

I'm going to look at this Ford today to replace the Subaru. Its a Ford Focus ZX5 with 75,000 miles. It sounds like it will be a great little car that gets good gas mileage.

Up next I think I might try to do the Hampshire 100 on the 16th. It's a steep entrance fee of $115, but it sounds like a good time. I think I might enter the single speed catagory because of all the flat sections.


  1. I race the Pro/1 race because the competition is tighter. I'm probably not even fast enough to win the 19-29 expert race, but I still don't like riding it because it gets lonely after a lap when it spreads out, and then you ride a time trial for 2nd or 3rd or whatever.

    In the pro/1 field there's more guys to race against so it's more fun. You can step down and get a podium or a win, but it's not about the schwag, it's about having fun... right?

  2. What does it say on your license?
    Since you're not on the podium week after week, I don't think there is anything wrong with racing your age group.
    You've made huge progress just based on your natural talent, most of the guys you're racing have the talent, plus years and years more in their legs.

  3. you should come down to the darkhorse 40 on the 16th.
    race the cat 1 ss. 200 for 1st place! plus fastest overall ss wins a niner carbon fork of their choice!
    check it out!

  4. It gets lonely after a lap when it spreads out..
    Get easy cash at your door step

  5. I don't think there is anything wrong with racing your age group.
    You've made huge progress just based on your natural talent.

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