I have been meaning to update the page since my camp with the Cycling House nearly 2 months ago now. I have had a lot going since CX National Champs. First, I got home and promptly took 2 weeks completely off the bike. And that isn’t completely true, I rode with the Bear Development crew the following weekend out in Marin. I had been out to the Whole Athlete camp but never Bear Development. They have an awesome MTB scene out there. It shouldn’t come as a surprise since Mt Tam, NICA and everything else mountain biking going on out there but I’m constantly impressed, honored and humbled to meet all the great people in our little mtb world making it happen.
So I rode with Julia V’s crew for a few days, spent the mornings being tortured by the team’s personal trainer and by the time I got home I was more sore then when I finished CX Nats, it was awesome! The next week I spent doing some landscaping home improvements and making every muscle that wasn’t sore already, sore. I use to dig dirt jumps all day, everyday from the time I was 5 to about 16. Now I shovel dirt or rocks for 30 minutes and I have blisters the next day, I’m getting soft.
I had a week about a week back on the bike before my 3rd annual MTB camp with the Cycling House. The first year we didn’t know if we would get enough people to make it work and this year it was sold out months before even with the increased capacity of the new Cycling House world HQ. They now have glamping as optional lodging. I didn’t even know what that was until last month.
The camp was awesome as usual, Owen and his crew do a great job. Each year we tweak the rides a bit and this year we added a section of the AZ trail from Gardner Canyon nearly back to Sahuarita. It was a big day over rough terrain but everyone had a smile on their face by the time we finished. We had 4 people from Canada this year as well so we’re going global!(they rip by the way like you would expect). The camp lasts almost week and by the end everyone was tired, had tan lines and definitely gained some fitness.Here we are eating lunch one day at Seis in the famous Mercado downtown. Can you spot Sam Shultz in the picture? Oh yea, that’s the end of January in the shade, Tucson is pretty good.
After camp, I ramped up the training for a week or so then it was off to San Pancho for Meg’s Dads 70th birthday. We were only there for a few days so I didn’t want to bring my bike all that way but I also didn’t want to loose any hard earned fitness. I opted for riding her Dad’s 26er size M fully that had clipless pedals(I had flip-flops) for the early 2000s up the insanely steep dirt and cobblestone roads. It worked out great, the party was awesome, Coop swam in the ocean and we had some pretty amazing sunsets.
From there it was back to Tucson for a 31 and 35 hr week of training. I got the big miles in with out any overuse injuries or getting sick so that was great. Meg met me in Bisbee for my last 6 hour day of the block, it was great. Bisbee is a really cool old mining town that sits at 5,500 ft just over Mule pass I believe. They use to have an awesome stage race that I did plenty of times and I think Greg Lemond had won at one point(I wasn’t racing then:). Here I am pulling a tube out of one of my spare wheels for my ride home.
So finally, the title of this post, The Cactus Cup. I usually like to suffer on a few Tucson “Shoot Outs” training rides and do some intervals before my first race but with my high volume/low intensity block finished just a week ago I didn’t have much time for the high intensity training. I did get out on one Tuesday morning ride last week to remind my body how bad the weekend was going to hurt. I just couldn’t pass up the chance to race the Cactus Cup again. That was one of my first Pro races and I always loved those Fatboy crits.
The format was a little different this year then it was in 1996 but the terrain and racing was just as fun. I spent most of the weekend battling Chris Blevins and Fernando. Blevins won the STXC and Super D, I got the XC. It was a timed GC battle and he best me in the overall by 13 seconds. I would have loved to win but I couldn’t match Chris’s speed. You might not know Chris but you will. If you follow Jr racing you would know he’s won just about every Jr National MTB title multiple times. He won the Peace race last year on the road which is one of the biggest Jr races in the world, has only missed medals at MTB World Champs due to mechanicals and is a multi time BMX Nat’l champ with his most recent title coming last year. Sounds a little like another guy from Durango, initials JT.
I rode the new 2017 Scott Scale and Spark over the 3 events, both worked awesome. Tires are critical in the desert at McDowell Mt park. I was on Maxxis Ikon 2.2 EXO front 23 psi/ EXO TR rear 23.5 psi. I ran 155 rear shock, 105 up front in the new SID. The Iced Friction coating on the chains was perfect for the dry desert trails, Eagle 10-50 with a 36 and 38 up front, depending on the day.
Next up is the Tucson Bicycle Classic road stage race this weekend. I don’t think I’m going be smiling as much in that road TT as I was ripping around those loose corners at the Cactus Cup Sunday in the Super D TT.
I wonder how much snow is on the Carson City Off Road Course at the top of Lake Tahoe right now…..