Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Challenge yourself!

I'm a big advocate of TRX (Total Resistance Exercise).  I've been using the TRX straps during my off-season training for the past 2 seasons now and believe anyone looking to take their performance to the next level (regardless of sport) needs to give it a try. 

If you want to challenge yourself and have access to the TRX straps, try this TRX metabolic workout (scroll down towards the bottom of page).  Trust me you will be exhausted by the time you are finished.  Nothing better than getting in a solid 30 min. workout. 

If you really weant to take your training to the next level, combine TRX training with a trip down to one of the Athletes' Performance facilities and work with one of the many excellent fitness specialists there.   I was hoping to get down there this past February but was unable to do so...maybe next year.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pickett's Charge report and Video

Lots of people (over 250) showed up for the Pickett's Charge XC race on Sunday which also served as the RiverCity Oregon XC Series Final.   The trails on Sunday were quite dusty and dry which made it difficult at times to see the trail when riding behind someone.  By the end of the race everyone's face was covered in dust and it sounded like a hospital where everyone was caughing.  Good times!

Check out the race video.  This is on Funner Trail  during the first lap.  I was curretly in 4th at the time.
The race unfolded early with Sheppard attacking early during the start loop with myself, Ben T., Brig B., James W., and Brennan W. chasing.  Brig and Ben would each suffer a flat during the descent on the first lap.  At the bottom of the descent James, Brennan and I were joined by a charging Matt R.  We traded leads for the next 30-40  min.  before James eventually dropped back.  Matt and I continued to push the pace trying to catch Sheppard but it was too late.  We crossed the line 2.5 min behind Sheppard for 2nd and 3rd place followed by James W. a few minutes later.

Click here for full results

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Next up on the calendar...

Pickett's Charge XC held in Bend, OR.  Last year this race changed courses and moved to the new trail system built by COTA (Funner and Tiddlewinks).  The new trails connect with the Wanoga Sno Park area and make for some really sweet riding.  I would have to say these two trails make for the perfect race course.  It a combination of steep technical climbs, mixed with some technical rocky descents that is all 100% singletrack.  There are also several section of "passing lanes" where riders can choose to go right or left depending on skill (one side is longer but less techy, and the other side is shorter but more techy).   Check out the Race Flyer for full details.

The weather is supposed to be perfect (high 70's).  And I'm guessing there will be an all-star lineup of local talent considering most are in town this weekend. 

I will have my helmet cam on during the race so I will have some good footage to share.  Check back on Tues as I will have updates.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Since we're on the topic of videos...

If you haven't already seen this, it's pretty entertaining and worth watching.  With the Marathon MTB World Championships this weekend in Italy, those who are attending will all be chasing rainbows (hence the colors of the World Champion stripes).
Can you name some of the famous riders who are included?  I could only name 2.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Riding trails near home - video

I haven't had the opportunity this season to ride many trails near home, so when I got the chance I chose to ride some of the local favorites; Storm King, Funner, Tiddlewinks, and COD.  Here's a taste of COD!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

One more video from TSE

Here is some more video from my helmet cam during the Trans Sylvania Stage Race.
Click HERE to view it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More footage from TSE - helmet cam style!

Check out my Helmet cam video - TSE Stage 7 from my Contour HD camera.  This footage is from the midway point during the stage.
Make sure you click on the "Fullscreen" button on the bottom right after playing video so you can get the full effect.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Something new in Bend

Leave it to Bend, OR to come up with a cycling event that is different form most but seems pretty damn cool.  Check out this link for all the details...should make for some interesting action.
My cards are on Adam!
I wouldn't be surprised to see Mark Weir show up to contest for the title either; if it came down to the pint of beer to be drank he would surely have the advantage :-).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another cool video from the TSE

This unique video was taken from Jason Sager's (TeamJamis) bike.  It's from Stage 5 and during this stage there were 4 "mini-xc's".  The total mileage of the stage was only 28 miles, and each mini-xc lasted on 2-4 miles.  In between each mini-xc we all rode at a casual pace (usual for about 4-8 miles). The mini-xc's were each extremely technical and rocky that consisted of a short climb followed by mostly descending.  Each one lasted anywhere between 6-12 minutes. 
Sager had his Go Pro camera mounted behind his seatpost and it really gives you a great perspective of the intensity of each racer behind him.  Each mini-xc start was a mass start format and it was an all out (120%) effort.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

TSE Video - Stage 6

Here is a cool Video of Stage 6 from the Trans Sylvania race compliments of Colt at Cycling Dirt.

Monday, June 6, 2011

TSE Report

After a grueling week of racing on trails near State College, PA the Trans Sylvania Stage Race is over.   WHEW!   I think my body is bruised from head to toe, my head is completely congested, my lungs are burning, my farmers' tan lines are even more noticeable, and my bike is need of a overhaul; especially my fork.  Yeah I think that just about sums it up.

The race consisted of 6 Stages and 1 Prologue.  As soon as I arrived at the race venue on Saturday I knew I was in for trouble.  The temperatures were reaching into the 90's and the humidity was 100%.  The temps in Bend haven't been over 65 degrees all spring, so I wasn't sure how my body would respond to the heat and humidity. 

As predicted my body didn't bode well with the heat and by Stage 3 (100 degrees) my body was shutting down.  I tried to settle into a high tempo rhythm early on but that didn't seem to work either.  By around the 2 hour mark, I had lost the ability to power the pedals.  I was completely shutting down and getting passed by many riders.  When I reached the final Aid Station with about 12 miles remaining, I contemplated pulling out of the race.  However, after talking with the Race Medic and dowsing my head with a gallon of water,  felt inspired to keep moving.  After more riders passed and time elapsed, I finally reached the finish line nearly 4 hours after starting.  Unfortunately, my agony was not over.  My body had been so depleted of electrolytes that just about every muscle in my body began cramping.  I had to keep moving to minimize the discomfort.  After 10 min. I got back to our RV and changed clothes and ate some food.  My issue with cramping (especially in my feet and hamstrings) would last all night long and prevented me from trying to rest and recover.  It was the most uncomfortable night I have experienced in a long time.  Four hours after finishing I finally had to urinate; which was a good sign because my body was beginning to feel a little better.  The race medic had called that evening asking if I had thought I needed to receive an IV.  I decided against it and continued consuming fluids with electrolyes and by 10 pm I was finally able to lye down and go to bed.

I was able to recover by the next day as the temperatures had begun to drop and the next days' course was mostly in the woods sheltered by shade.  That was the trend the rest of the week and about 1 hour after finishing the final stage wouldn't you know it it began to rain.  Unseasonable temps all week made the event even more challenging than it already was.  I believe nearly 30 riders (out of 105) had DNF'd. 

Jeremiah Bishop lead the race from the Prologue with Sneddon and Sager keeping things interesting each day.  Flat tires and slashed tires, along with broken chains were quite frequent with most of the Top 15 riders.  I don't know of many that didn't suffer some sore of mechanical all week.  Myself and a few others were unfortunate to have suffered several flat tires (I had 4 flats and 3 slashed tires - 2 were UST Tubeless), but I also saw Wicks and Bishop having trouble with their chains and derailleurs.

It was a great week of riding on some of PA's best rocky/technical trails.  I understand these are the same trails that are utilized during the Wilderness 101 race in July.  We don't get this kind of riding out West, especially in Bend, so it was fun to test the skills against the terrain.  I can say, however, that I am looking forward to riding Phil's Trail for a few days to allow my muscles to heel :-). 

Mike Kuhn and Ray Adams (TSE organizers) know a thing or two on how to truly run an amazing event.  In only it's 2nd year, this race nearly doubled in size and drew one of the strongest Pro field of any Stage Race that I know of (other than Cape Epic).  There weren't any flaws during the week, plenty of volunteers and food at all the Aid Stations, lots of photographers along the courses each day, and plenty of entertainment after each Stage including photo slideshow, and a video from the guys at Cycling Dirt.  I believe I even saw Mike and Ray out on the course during each Stage encouraging riders or helping out in the Aid Stations.

Click HERE for all the results: