IMG_2863It sure is nice to get out on the P bike, doing a little dirt jumping for the Dart.

The end of this season this year has been a little different then seasons past for me. Usually I race La Ruta, then do a few more CX or MTB races before pulling the plug for the year, taking four weeks off and starting my build up for the following year.

Last year I had hoped to race CX Nationals and then injured myself so most of December and half of January were spent trying to rehab a sore knee. This year I also had CX Nationals as a target but since I basically struggled to find good form since Leadville, I decided to pull the plug on the season after La Ruta. That was great because we got to spend a bit extra time enjoying Costa Rica, pura vida.

After getting back from Costa Rica we made a quick trip up to Vail for Thanksgiving to visit with Meg’s family. Coop had a blast getting to be in the snow for the first time and it’s alway cool to walk around village. Meg and Coop on Bridge St.

From there it was back down to Tucson to get myself and the family situated for the winter. By then I had been off for three weeks. I did go nordic skiing one day and a few short rides in Durango but I would hardly call it training. The plus side was I got to get the bike area in the garage done, gotta have a nice place to work on the bikes.

We had a great cycling celebration in Durango a few days later to celebrate all the accomplishments of the local cyclists for the year. It’s amazing a town of 15,000in the middle of nowhere can produce so many great riders. Lots of World Championship hardware floating around Carvers Brewery that night. They shut down the whole restaurant for the event and it was packed.

After the Cycling Celebration it was back down to Tucson for a few weeks of training before shutting it down again. That is the strange part of this year’s season end for me. Normally, I have 4 weeks that I squeeze all my rest into and I  am focused right up until then and immediately after. This year, I had 3 weeks off, did some training for 3 weeks just to get in good enough shape to take another break. It was really weird for me to just be out riding with no plan. Felt like I was wasting time and not accomplishing anything but I’m hoping that will pay off for 2015. The hardest part is getting going again after break, this year I’m getting to do that a few times.

Now I’m almost done with my last break and am chomping at the bit to get back out there with some type of focus. That said I have had more time to hit the gym and I’ve even been doing some running. Last year I didn’t get to do any of that because I was busy fixing my knee and trying not to re-injure it. It’s amazing how much lifting weights can break down and build up muscle. I could ride for six hours and not be sore but if do 10 squats for less then a minute I am sore for days. I think the gym holds huge potential for performance benefits if you can figure out how to  maximize it for your cycling weaknesses. I have always been a big fan of lifting weights but feel like there is more I could be getting out of it.

It’s starting to get nice out and I’m off to the dirt jumps to work on skills. I’m hoping when I get back to Durango I can be riding well enough to hit the jumps at @DurangoWood’s house. I have some work to do but it’s something to shoot for.

I wonder how many thermal jackets Rude is wearing on his ride today…..



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