It was a nice week back at my family’s house in NY. I spent the week logging in the miles riding all over the Hudson Valley. I got to do some intervals on one of the big climbs I first started riding on, Overlook Mountain in Woodstock. I can’t believe I rode a 53/23 up that climb when I first started. I think I probably pushed about 20 rpms up it and it’s a wonder I didn’t blow my knees out. The road riding in the HV is amazing, it’s like single track for the road bike. I spent some time riding in rain storms too which isn’t bad back east since the rain is so warm you don’t even get cold.
I did miss Meg, Coop and Winston but I got some good training in. It is so humid in NY I don’t think my helmet has been dry since I left CO. I only had a few days though before I was off again, this time for the WI PROXCT. I have been flying through Chicago the past few weeks and when you fly though Chicago you get either delayed or stuck. Luckily I have been spending a lot of time here when that happens. The best tortas, salads and guacamole bar around.
This year we had a new venue for the WORS Cup, Cascade Mountain in Portage. It is very similar to Nordic Mountain where we raced in the past but it was only about 30 minutes from Madison which is great for us out of towners. The course was super fun with tons of tight single track and the longest sustained climb being about 1 minute. It was constantly up and down with some cool rock gardens, a few bridges and even a small gap jump. You couldn’t really stop to check anything out in the woods or you would be accosted by the mosquitos. And the traction was incredible, felt like I was riding a dirt bike out there, perfect loam. That is until it rained.
I don’t know what it is but every year in WI we have some issue at the start. 2 years ago we had a quad lead out that we ended up with the quad getting in the way and half the group coming around. Then last year a bunch of riders went off course on the start loop because of some ambiguity with the signage. So this year when the gun went off and the lead moto didn’t move it wasn’t much of surprise. The moto didn’t start and we swarmed around it about 10 seconds after the gun went off. Luckily it was uphill in the grass so it was pretty slow.
I led the first 2 laps and when we started lap 3 it was Ettinger, Sepp Kuss(Durango U-23) and Howie yo-yoing on and off. By the time we hit the midway point it was just Ettinger and I. We couldn’t seem to shake each other and then the rain started. The velcro conditions turned to ice and we could barely make it around the off camber corners. I finally got a small gap on Ettinger on lap 5, we were literally skateboarding the bike around the corners and I was pulling myself up some of the climbs by grabbing trees. The scariest moment I had was after hitting the jump and the bike sliding 90 degrees to the trail when I landed.
I managed to keep it upright and roll in for the win around 30 seconds clear.
I have been using the Epic almost exclusively this year and WI was no different. I ran S-Works Fast Tracks front and rear 25/26psi. The tires were amazing when it was dry but once it got wet I was wishing I had a bit lower pressure. I don’t think any tires were hooking up in the wet because it was almost impossible to even walk on the trails. The XX1 was great as well, there as so much grass and mud piled up on the front chain ring and derailuer and I didn’t have any shifting issues.
The best place in town, Tolteca. Mike and John did a great job as usual with the bikes this weekend. With the foul weather this week we made them work for it:)
I’m back in NY now with Meg, Coop and Troy is here as well. Looking forward to some good training this week and then National Champs this weekend in PA. Rude is doing some namaste to get ready. Myron and Menso are also back here staying with Chops. And, my mom’s birthday is tomorrow.
I wonder what Winstons doing …..