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I’m sure there are many SS’ers out there that consider me to be some sort of sandbagger since I started racing SS a few years ago. And while I’ve lost count of my wins and can count all my losses on both hands, I still don’t think it is a fair accusation. Hell, T. Brown got branded a few years back at SS worlds and he was one of the top pros in the world…even after retirement he still kicked (kicks) ass. Lots of fast guys are racing SS now. Some to be a pain in the ass and others because they like the SS. I like it because it suits my style of racing. I’m a big guy. I can generate a lot of horsepower. I can go really fast on descents without pedalling, which definitely favors a SS’er. Another bonus is that I have yet to be able to build up a geared race bike under 25 lbs. It’s kind of tough to compete against some skinny ass little pipsqueak that can spin his tiny little legs off on his sub 20 lb. geared bike when there is a bunch of vert. I hate those bastards and if I could get away with it I’d crush them way out somewhere on the backside of a racecourse and throw them way out in the desert to be eaten by coyotes….that’s if I could keep up with them.
Over the past 3 years I have definitely seen the SS categories grow in size. Nationals last year had over 30 guys. The girls had over a dozen. Local races are seeing more and more as well.
While some events have LOTS of SS’ers, I still don’t think Team Big Bear should try to stick their dirty dicks into the SS category like they did for this weekend. What did they do you ask? They fucked it all up! Just like they did to the women’s pro category and the men’s amateur categories back in the late 90’s.
A little bit of history. In the early 90’s Team Big Bear held the largest race series to grace north america. Huge categories! The amateur men’s age groups (5 year gaps) would have 60 guys or more. The pro field wasn’t very big. Same for the women. Not many pros, but lots of amatuers. The women amateur category was 19-29, 30-39, 40+. Good size fields. Then TBB along with the geniuses at USAC decided to add new categories. They added the Semi-pro to the men’s field and even had U-23 pro for a couple of years. This shrank the AM fields quickly and caused a bit of growth in the pro field. They split the women’s age groups into 5 year gaps. Now you had a women’s expert field with 5 girls. A girl would win a nationals and immediately upgrade to pro. It was a sad time.
Last year USAC dissolved the semi-pro category….which I was a member. I actually thought it wasn’t a bad category as it provided a good place for older fast experts and fast kids that didn’t have much sponsorship. It definitely drew down the size of the expert fields though.
Today’s bad news? TBB has categories for SS. Funny thing is there are only 3 dudes pre-reg’d (as of this morning) in the Cat 2 SS.
Those sad sacks (TBB that is). Message to Tom, Frosty, and Pat….get your shit together. Stop fucking up the sport! Leave the SS category alone. Stop trying to make everyone happy. You just make it worse.
The second year Stan made rims, Jen scored a set of wheels from him on a pro-deal. They were pretty good wheels and definitely lighter than anything else out there.
Back in ‘o7 when Jen won her first SS national title, we went to eat dinner with Mary McConneloug and Mike Broderick at their condo which was really a big house rented by Stan. We had a blast with the gang there and Luna our dog was lavished with affection.
Getting to know people helps with sponsorship. I’ve never asked for much and the next year I was able to get some rims for free. Last year nothing came even after making contact. I didn’t want to seem like a pain in the ass, so I didn’t hassle them. This year I need help with a little one on the way and my household income being cut in half. So I’ve been hassling. I wasn’t asking for much – just a pair of rims.
What showed up in the mail today? Yay! Not just a pair, but 2 pair. And sealant too!
Why not ask for wheels like everyone else? Well, I’m getting some help from WTB this year. So they make great hubs. I have a set of new hubs and I really don’t like riding wheels that I didn’t build. So now I get to build up a new set, break down an old set and rebuild them so I’ll have 2 sets of race wheels for the season. That’s PRO! Or at least grassroots pro.
Thanks Mike at Stan’s for the hook up. Mike also helps get stuff to the Puzzler race as well. Hopefully this relationship will continue….not necessarily for my personal sponsorship, but definitely for El Paso mountian biking.
Well….the racing season finally started. After a couple of low key endurance events, I officially kicked things off with a win at the NMORS#1, the Coyote Classic here in El Paso. There was a record number of racers. 268! 100 Cat 1’s! Unbelievable! And I passed more than 75 of those cat 1’s. Ridiculous. Or as I say when it’s REALLY ridiculous….ricockulous.
The Superfly100 was a beast today. Despite the cracked lower swingarm and the missing set screws on my YESS tensioner, it rode amazingly well in the rock gardens and climbed like a antelope!
I was sick all this past week and Jen was a trainwreck from a broken or displaced rib. I didn’t ride Monday through Wednesday and Thursday’s ride sucked. I was still coughing and blowing green shit out of my nose this morning on my warmup. Smartly, I did a long warm-up by riding from the house to the venue.
Needless to say, I’m very pleased with the start of my season. The Puzzler was a bit disappointing, but the bike didn’t fit and I used gears. What in the world was I thinking??!! I think I could have won SSUSA if I hadn’t lost my handup right after I got it. To put things together as well as I did today, I’m pleased. I won’t show my HR data as it’s way too impressive. I’d have to say that today was one of my best races ever….performance wise. Of course there were many national podiums that were more awesome, but my body’s performance today was exceptional.
As some of you know, I worked on a master’s in Ex Physiology for a while and I have never had my own coach. I found this blog post by Heather Irmiger to be pretty interesting. She has a degree in ex phys and isn’t down with the testing. Pretty cool. I like doing VO2Max tests, but they don’t really indicate much when in comes to mountain biking. Skill is such a huge factor and strategy is also big. Today I had a home court advantage. I felt great, and I stayed skinny this winter. I’m looking forward to a great summer!
Here are some things I’d like to sell off before the little one comes.
Spot Belt Drive Kit – great condition w/ about 100 off-road miles. 39×24. Newest setup with guides on both sides of the rear pulley. $150.
Magura Hugin Rear Shock. “Short shock” 6.5×1.5 . http://www.magura.com/en/products/older-products/rearshocks-2008/prod/hugin.html Used on Titus Racer-X 29er for 3 rides. $150
WTB Rocket-V Race – Ti Rail – White. Used twice. $50.
Shimano XT clipless pedals – brand new in box – $75.
Niner SS Cog – 22 t – Brand new. $30
Will possibly trade for the following: Crank Brother’s Egg Beater SL pedals, WTB Silverado Saddle.
A couple of weekends ago I shaved off the beard.
Well….part way. I went all day Saturday and Sunday like this and I kept wondering why everyone I passed stared and smiled at me. I felt like Col. Sanders. Anyway, as I put the blade to my face, I thought to myself….watch it snow again. Sure enough, last Tuesday…it snowed….again. 7th winter storm of the season. Four was the record.
I ended up taking the entire layer off for school as I knew that just shaving in general would cause a fuss with my students.
Training is going well and school is mellowing out due to standardized testing preparation. It’s sad how well our kids will prep for these tests but they won’t do regular school stuff at all. Despite the frequent rain and wind storms, I’ve gotten in a bit more intensity and I’ve taken advantage of the secret motivation room.
Jen is getting big, but she’s still riding quite comfortably. We were out at Heinrich on Sunday and a major storm rolled in. I was pretty close to the parking lot, but she was up near the mountain! I think she rode more than I did. I ended up getting a second ride in that afternoon. I’m glad I live near some dirt.
The season is approaching fast. Coyote Classic is March 21. I got shut out of the Gallup 12 hour. That will keep me fresher for Socorro. I’m hoping to go top 5 in the hill climb.