I had an awesome time hanging out and riding with the Whole Athlete team and their supporters two weeks ago in Marin. We rode almost 4 hours of trails on Saturday and did a super nice road ride with everyone on Sunday. Some of the trails we rode had just become legal the previous week so i felt pretty lucky to get a guided tour of the area. We also hit one of the best flow trails I have ever ridden just outside of Fairfax. I have to thank the Courtney’s for the great accommodations and equally spectacular espresso, the trip was awesome.
It was whirlwind 3 days and I was back in Durango getting ready for the Boulder UCI CX weekend. Boulder use to be on Halloween and was usually the kick off to my CX season. Now Boulder is in the middle of October and the CX season is nearly half over. It does make the drive much nicer since there wasn’t any snow going through Fairplay but the course was super rough and dusty.
In the past we had a different venue on Saturday and Sunday. This year, both days were at Valmont Bike Park which was nice for all the staff since they didn’t have to tear down and setup each day. It was also nice for all the racers that go earlier in the day since the reservoir is loaded with goat heads and the earlier racers usually run most of them over so it is fairly clear by the time the elite go.
The courses at Valmont were half on a hill, half in a flat field. They had to be the bumpiest CX races I’ve ever done. I got smart after last year and wore some padded gloves which saved my suspension soft hands from getting blisters. Day 1 was pretty good, I made the front group and felt fairly comfortable for breathing through my eyeballs. About 2 minutes from the finish I tried going inside on an off camber corner getting by Summerhill, we bumped and his chain dropped. I had the pole position but couldn’t hold it to the finish and wound up getting 4th out of the 5 person group. It was like as soon as I got the lead I dropped the anchor and immediately went backwards.
Normally I race better the 2nd day and I also found my way into the lead group. This time as soon as I got to the front I managed to get some mesh used to fight erosion caught in my cassette and could only use my easiest gear. That dropped me out of the lead group and when I went into the pit for the first time in 2016 this happened.
I don’t quite know what happened but I ended up on the ground and lost even more time to the lead group. I eventually crossed the line in 8th, that doesn’t sound like a good result but after the shenanigans I had going on out there I was happy to get to the finish with out injuring myself too badly.
Valmont has super fun dirt jumps that aren’t crazy so I got an early morning session in and then we were on our way back to Durango. I setup my first tubeless CX tires today and am trying this new Squirt sealant. Actually, that’s a lie, I tried to run Michelin CX tires tubeless in 2000 but blew the tire off the rim, broke the bead and it sounded like a gunshot in the park. These seem much better and the system has definitely been refined over the last 15 years.
I finally have a weekend at home coming up. Meg is going to a conference and will spend her first night away from Coop since he was born. That means it’s a boys weekend, pizza and ice cream for dinner.
I wonder if we are gonna have a wet race one of these days……