Shimano Winter Series #5

This past weekend was the Final round of the Shimano Winter Series. Although I havn’t been participating in this series, I made it out for the final race. Its been a few months now since the last race I did. The weather was forcasted to be warm. I wasn’t looking forward to doing the normal three laps in the sport class. I decided to enter the singlespeed class, hoping they would do the two lap format they have done the past few races. After meeting up with Team Boss RL, and Dan B, we geared up and got on the bikes. Dan was nice enought to show me the parts of the course I wasn’t familiar with. I have done a few races here at southridge, but none of them have included the Hide A Bike section. As Dan and I spun around the trails, he pointed out the others in the SS class. I’m not going to lie, I was a little intimidated by these guys. All the SS guys were lined up together, at the sound of the horn, we were off. As we rounded the first corner I was middle of the pack. A few racers were pulling away quickly, I jumped on the tail of that pack, and tried to hang on.

Mark2

Through the front singletrack we were all pretty well lined up. At the first climb I thought I was in third. Then we hit the HAB! I dismounted and started to hike up, following a geared racer. Not too long after, he remounts his bike, not knowing whats ahead I do the same. 20 feet later he jumps back off, “What is he doing?” I think to myself. I jump off, take some big steps and pass him. I catch up to another racer and ask him how much longer? He says we are halfway up. I continue to follow him and we pass one of the guys in my class. After a few more minutes he tells me to jump on. We both remount, and I follow him down the trail. We hit another climb and he motions for me to pass. I get to the top and I remember Dan telling me to be careful on the way down. I kept on the brakes and took my time. This put me back to the paved road, now I knew where I was, and what I was up up against. I passed the watertower and looked back. A fellow SS racer was gaining. I pushed hard up the next climb and dropped in to the singletrack. After one more short up, I followed a group down the back of the hill.

Mark@Southridge2

About halfway down I took one of the right turns to fast, I went off the course and had to bail off the bike. I was fine, just lost a little time. Next is a short fireroad climb. I felt like I had the perfect gearing, seated I spun by three of the racers running gears. A quick rutted out trail lead us down to the wash. This is where the Singlespeed is a disadvantage. This part is flat and long. I spun as fast as I could and down a gel to get some energy for the next lap. Next is a short, rocky, and loose hill. I NEVER clear this thing! I make it about 1/4 of the way up and have to jump off and run the rest of the way. I spin my way to the final drop of the first lap feeling stronger than I thought I would.

IMG_5998

After weaving thought the tape, one lap down only one to go! as i start lap two, I hear someone yell, “GO HAMMER!!!” I look around but don’t recognize anyone. I think RL was hiding behind some rocks messin with me! As the trail doubles back. I see the same racer not too far back. I press on to the the HAB section again. Right from the start of it my legs are burning, and by this time its pretty hot. I had to stop for a few seconds to catch my breath at one point. Finally I reach the top and remount. I feel spent. I grind out the last of these climbs.

Mark@Southridge1

I shot down the techy stuff to the road again. I don’t see anyone behind me, so a back off a little. Halfway up the next climb I got off and walked. I think I was faster walking than riding this part. Down the backside I start to feel a little better. Once I am on the flat I spin as fast as I could, hoping no one is behind me. Once again I don’t clear that rocky hill… But that gel must of finally kicked in, cause I’m able to run up it. Looking back I still don’t see anyone. I roll though the final turns and finish. There was one racer I lost track of from the start, I wasn’t sure if he finished ahead of me, or if he was still out there. Later on I find out he got a flat, and didn’t finish. Once the results were up I placed first.

Podium

The bonus was Team MtnBikeRiders.com took two spots on the podium! Thanks to all our sponsors, Evomo Clothing, Ergon USA, VIP Energy Mix, Serfas and Dirty Dog MTB.

DIY XTR 960 Single Crankset

A while back I was talking to Tim “Ciseaux” about singlespeed cranksets. He told me about a custom builder who modifys the XTR 960 triple crank, into a clean looking single setup. After looking at some pictures, I thought this would be a cool project for my single. The XTR 960 cranks are strong, and already light. I found a used set in great shape on a local auction site.

960 1

The good thing about these older XTRs is, they can use most of the current Shimano external bottom brakets. I ended up using one from the current XT crank. One important thing you need to know is, this set uses a 102 BCD, not the more common 104 BCD. So your favorite ring you normally run may not fit. The first step is to strip them down. You will be cutting off the supports for the big ring. I found the center between the chainring holes and made a mark.

960 2

Now you can use many different tools to make the cut. I am pretty handy with a hacksaw, so that was my choice. After making all the cuts, I used a pneumatic die grinder to round the edges.

960 3

I almost just ran them like this. I kinda like the silver coating of the older XTR line. But ended up using a scotch brite wheel to remove the coating, so I could polish them.

960 4

After they were all clean, I used a polishing wheel on my bench grinder to bring the shine back. I didn’t go crazy here. I am sure you could spend all day getting them to perfect. But I really just wanted to ride them. Here they are after bolting on a Blackspire Mono Veloce ring.

028

I ran them like this for about two years. Recently I moved them to a new frame and decided to give them some new life. I found a local polisher that did a great job for about $25.

niner 029

I know they don’t look exactly like the ones that sell for a few hunderd bucks. But I saved some cash, I had the fun of doing it myself.

Winter SSeries #4: Winning the War of Attrition

This weekend was host for the 4th installation of the Southridge Winter Series. Heavy rain had preceded the race both the day and night before, even more had been forecasted for this Saturday. Luckily enough, the morning of the race was relatively free of rain but still fairly chilly. Due to the poor weather (I assume) combined with the Bootleg Canyon race in Las Vegas, there didn’t seem to be anywhere near the normal turnout of racers showing up for this race. I checked the weather and radar before leaving for Fontana in the morning and it showed temps peaking at 64 degrees just after the race and the rain arriving about the same time. I layered up and even put on my Serfas shoes covers lest the rain arrive early during the race. I had spent some time on the bike the night before adjusting the bottom bracket (finally got rid of a creak I had for a few weeks), adjusted my chainline (which didn’t solve another issue I’ve been having), and raised my stem up on the fork to above the last spacer. This last geometry change I think I’ll keep for two reasons: first being comfort. It is easier on my back when torqueing away on the climbs. Secondly I felt like I had a little more torque and leverage on the bars during the climb because of a more upright position.

Warming Up
Warming Up

Once everyone lined up at the start there were only five single-speeders, and four of them were in the older age bracket. This left me the only SS rider in my age bracket. I didn’t really mind the lack of riders for this race, as I hadn’t gotten in my normal workouts the previous week partly due to rain and general busyness with work. I was worried about paying the price for the lack of training during this race, but luckily for me this would just be a race against the clock alone. Lined up at the start all of the single-speeders were prepared to start. One thing I’ve noticed over the last few races is the benefit of bike skills like track-standing. While I’m not great at this, I am still working on it, but on the starting line none of the riders track-stand for a faster start. I find it better to balance this way before the proverbially starting gun. This way I am already completely on the bike with both feet clipped in. I was able to use this tool to be the first one off the line and through the first turn. The riders in the older bracket are significantly faster than I am, so I tried to keep up with this group for as long as I could. By the time we hit the HAB section I was trailing the pack. I had issues my shoe covers on the hike in that they slipped off of my toes and were pointing up like elf feet. While I’m sure it looked goofy, it didn’t really impede me, so I left them alone for the race.

SSer's out of the  gate.
SSer's out of the gate.

By the time I finished the hike, the other SS riders were already on their bikes and climbing the next hill. I jumped on my bike and headed down this section of single-track. I caught some geared riders on the climb and passed them. By the top of the climb there was only one geared rider ahead of me and I continued to follow him down the technical single-track. I was struggling to hold my line, and clipped a rock with my front wheel. I was able to quickly recover and continued only to be thrown badly off my line on the next turn into a climb where I had to dab, losing time and distance on the other rider.

Start of the first lap under ominous clouds.
Start of the first lap under ominous clouds.

I finally started to find my groove as I headed up the last bit of single-track climbing and started to head down the back of the hill. I caught a coupled a geared riders and was able to get around them on the way down. Up that last climb and down to the flats, I spin away. This is usually the point where the geared sport riders catch up to me, but there weren’t any today. I continued to spin toward the last climb of the lap. In my warm up, I had checked out the hill to see what a good line would be after the rain. Most riders take a far left line or just walk up the middle. I had seen a good line on the right and hit that one hard. I made it two-thirds of the way up and then spun-out on over some loose rocks. Not what I was shooting for. I jumped off the bike, ran up the last bit of the hill and got back on as quickly as I could. For some reason after that steep hill the next 20-30 yards always feels like riding through molasses, and that no matter how hard I push I can’t gain any momentum. The last descent of the lap had been severely changed damaged by the rain with a rock protruding in the middle, a large rain run on the left, and mud at the bottom to make the turn out at the bottom and more difficult.

Spinning on the flats.
Spinning on the flats.

As I crossed the finish line for the first lap I noted the time on the clock, which I thought was about a minute faster than I thought I had done before. I thought I had gotten off to a slower start, but maybe I was making better time. This encouraged me to push harder on the second lap. Coming through the opening flats and into the single-track I came upon a geared rider who decided to fix his chain in the middle of the trail (it is true single-track here, and no means a two-way street), not off to the side. I call out to warn of my approach and he slides over just enough for me to get by. I passed through the remaining single-track heading toward the HAB and began my ascent. I was gaining on a couple of geared riders ahead of me, but inasmuch ground as I was gaining on them, there were a couple a riders behind gaining on me. At the top of the HAB I was worried I wouldn’t been able to stay ahead of them, but as soon as my feet were off the ground and back on the pedals I had put sufficient ground between us to maintain my position.

Rolling some of the singletrack.
Rolling some of the singletrack.

Coming down the next single-track section felt much better than it did on the first lap. I focused on holding my lines and minimizing braking through the corners. Up the pavement and back to single-track, I come over the first rise with a little more oxygen left in my lungs than normal. As I climbed through this single-track section I am able to catch and pass several geared riders. I am feeling pretty strong at this point and continue to push up this climb and eventually out of this section of the course. I start the fun backside of the hill, and pass a few more geared riders, but none of the other SSers are within sight. There is one medium climb partway through the descent. I stand up and really crank on the bars on my way of up the hill. Two more geared riders down, and I’m almost to the top, when another geared rider returns the favor. I open up my fork for the last descent to the flats and follow him the rest of the way down. I can’t match his pace on the flats, but I try and keep my cadence as high as I can at this point and am determined to clear the short uber-steep last climb of the lap. A few yards from the base of the climb I ramp up my speed and give it all I have left and am able to clean it this time using the line on the left side. Through the “molasses” section and the last big of single-track leading to the finish line, I clear the last turn and it take the final charge of a full-out sprint to the chicane.

Podium
Podium

I ended up finishing about a minute slower than the previous race, but due to the lack of other riders I still came in first. You can never really complain about a first place finish. The good part of this is that this race and the final race of the series are for double points towards overall standings. Before the start of this race I had been in second overall for the series, but the double points for this race pushes me ahead of the first place rider, and should keep me there for the overalls through the next race assuming I complete the final stage. In two weeks I will be wrapping up this series and my first race series on the single-speed.

I Hate Hike-a-bike racing

The second race of the Southridge Winter Series was this weekend. The weather was a significantly warmer than the previous race two weeks ago by almost 20 degrees. Not so much winter weather for the winter series. After the results from the last race being four minutes behind the race leader, my goal for this race was to improve my time and try and close the gap on this rider. However, upon registration for this race, I was notified that the course would be different than the previous route, and would be two laps instead of three this time because of this change. The course change was an added climb and technical decent. Well, that negated my goal to improve my time from the previous race.

Loading up on Gatorade pre-race.

As soon as I was prepped and ready to start warming up, I headed to the starting line to ride the course and find the changes. Just before what would have been the first climb I found the change, a hard left up a hill. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t another hill. This was a 5+ minute hike-a-bike (HAB). Even during the race, I didn’t see anyone riding up this section. Other than the added route, the rest of the course was pretty much the same.
Leaving the starting line.

I felt fairly good out off the line and got a good start. One of the ways I wanted to push to gain time is to make sure I’m spinning as fast as I can on the flats, and making sure I don’t slow down from trying to recover from a previous climb or catch my breath. One thing I worked on this week in my workouts was to focus on breathing through the most strenuous exertions. I have notice I have a tendency to forget to breathe during the toughest parts. I definitely felt a difference when it came to this race. It was my legs that where burning through most of the race, not my lungs, which is something I had been working toward. I quickly came up to the first big climb, the added HAB. My goal on the HAB section was not to lose any ground. By the time I made it to the top of the hill my calves were absolutely on fire. I quickly jumped back on my bike and a brief flat section allowed me a chance to gain some momentum before starting the last bit of the climb, which was actually rideable. I made it to the top and began the more technical single track down this section. I felt strong on the descents, and for a few minutes I wasn’t racing I was just having fun. I noticed I was hitting the sharp turns on the back side of the hill very strong and with little braking through the turns. I had full-suspension geared bike behind me who were not gaining ground.
Spinning through the flats.

Quickly enough the first lap was done, and I was still feeling strong, now just to do it again. This time the HAB was even worse, if that was possible. I let some of the older geared riders by who were almost running up the hill. After struggling on the hike, I finally reached the top and was ready to finish the rest of the race ON the bike. I headed down the single track trying to make up or gain any ground I could in this section. After the steep single track climbs I had to take a few seconds to recover before charging ahead. Down the back side of the hill for the last time, and I could tell I was starting to get fatigued in that I noticed I was not hitting the sharp turns as hard and fast the as first lap. I focused on not braking through the turns and accelerating out of them. Down the last hill to the flats, and there are no other riders in sight. I up my cadence as high as I can muster and head toward the last section. Clearing the last drop, it is now an all out sprint to the finish.
Headling for the last lap.

I ended up placing 3rd. I felt stronger throughout the race as compared to the previous race. Instead of being four minutes behind the previous race leader, I was approximately 50 seconds behind the same rider. There was a new rider in my category who took the win. I’d call closing the gap from four minutes to one an improvement. Even with moving down one place, I felt like it was forward progress. Goal for the next race: to keep the rider ahead of me in sight all the way to the finish line.
Podium Results

SSouthridge Winter SSeries Opener

The first race of the year and the beginning of the Southridge Winter Series started this weekend in Fontana, CA. I was lucky enough to double-check the weather the night before which showed high temperatures for the day in the high 50’s. It was not going to be a warm day by California standards. I arrived at the race site approximately 90 minutes prior to start time to register and prep. The registration line was close to 30 min long so that ate a significant amount of time. I quickly stretched, warmed up and assumed my position on the starting line, which held a surprise. Everyone was expecting to ride two laps for the SS class, but we were informed that the race would be three laps increasing the distance by just over four miles. To be honest, I was not completely mentally prepared to do three laps, but at this point there wasn’t much of a choice.

First turn out of the gate.
First turn out of the gate.

As we lined up for the start of the race one of the SS racers had been in the same class as me in the last series, The Triple Crown (and happened to win the series as well). I figured the longer I kept him in my sights the better I would do. By the top of the first big climb I was beginning to realize that I would not be able to keep up my current pace for three laps. The course is a shorter one with only just over four miles per lap and in terms of elevation gain/change essentially climbs up the hill and then heads down the backside of it. The first section is flatter fire-road and rolling single-track that leads to the first big climb, a longer paved section. At the top of the pavement starts a single-track that briefly drops with some sharp turns, then continues on for the next longest climb and hardest (at least for me) of the lap. Next there is a brief respite from climbing with some nice rollers until the single-track hits a very steep climb to leave that section and finish the majority of the climbs. After that comes the fun mostly downhill technical single-track. Once down the hill, there is some flat fire-road for a bit which leads to a VERY steep loose short climb ending in single-track the feeds that chicane and eventual finish line.
Charging toward the chicane.
Charging toward the chicane.

This was the third time I have raced at Southridge, but the first time on a hard-tail. I found out very quickly I couldn’t rail the downhill sections quite as hard without rear suspension. The downhill sections on this course are a bit more technical than most of the other XC courses I have ridden. My rear wheel tried to slide around and lead down the trail, and I had a near washed out on a section, but I quickly recovered got a better feel for the trail and for the next two laps. Any distance I had lost on the climbs against my pace rider I made up in the downhill sections, and was only a few riders back.
Passing through the chicane.
Passing through the chicane.

By the end of the first lap I already felt like I was bonking. So, on the second lap I backed off on the longer climb just a little to make sure I could continue to push hard in the final lap. I hadn’t been keeping close tally on my race position, but by my count there were at least two other racers in my class ahead of my at this point, but I wasn’t positive. As I came over the top over one of the last rises on the second lap I passed the other rider I had been trying to pace against stopped with a mechanical. I checked to make sure he was ok as a rode by. Once I passed him, I pushed up the next climb to try and gain whatever distance I could. I completed the remainder of the second lap uneventfully only getting passed on the flatter sections by some of the older geared racers. The last lap was do or die time, and I laid everything else I had left on the table. On the steep climbs it was all I could do to keep the cranks turning. I made it to the flats on the back side of the hills and was nearing the home stretch to the finish line. As I previously mentioned, the last climb of the lap is a short steep, rocky and loose. Racing this course previously, I had never cleaned this climb. I usually was able to make it half-way to two-thirds of the way up before stalling out and having to dismount. I was stoked that I was about to clean it three times in row, but I “spoke” too soon. I came over the last bit of the climb, my front wheel caught a baby-head rock and I almost went OTB. My legs slammed into the bars and my feet came unclipped. As I balanced on the front wheel I was able to push back just enough to keep from completely falling and returned the rear wheel to the ground. I regained my position in the saddle and stood up for the last couple hundred yards of the race. Single-track to a small drop, a few turns into the home stretch, then an all-out sprint, or as close as I could muster at that point, and finally the chicane and finished line.
Approaching the finish line.
Approaching the finish line.

After waiting for a few hours for the results, second place! Can’t really complain about that for the first time out on the SS! Looking at the times, I was about four minutes behind the leader, so that definitely leaves room for improvement.

SSteel is Real… Heavy

Well, I completed my SS build just after Thanksgiving and have managed to log a over a hundred miles on it already. The frame is a Niner SIR9 with a Fox 32 F29 fork and Industry Nine XC 29er wheels. Niner touts this frame as demonstrating that “Steel Is Real” and thereby the frame got its name. While I do jest with a bit about the weight of the frame, steel does tend to be a heavier than its aluminum counterparts. The build came out to just over 25 lbs for the size large frame, not that this was a weight-weenie build by any stretch.

SIR9
Niner SIR9 build complete

I got my first taste of mountain SS’ing this summer when I borrowed one of the Animal’s SS’s. It definitely a good introduction in that it left me wanting more. Let me tell you the smoothness of the Renyolds 853 steel is most definitely real. I have been more than impressed so far with this bike in that I have taken it on rides and trails that I would have thought reserved for bikes with rear travel, and not only has it held its own, but excelled. Now I’m not advocating this for your next DH session, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised on rough XC trails with moderate drops and rock gardens. To describe the Industry 9 wheels succinctly is fairly easy, stiff! I feel the tires flexing under me when I stand, but definitely not the wheels. This stiffness is very evident when returning to the ground after a jump or drop. They just keep rolling forward. At this point I have to mention that I am coming from 26″in. wheels to the 29″in. platform. I’ve never been accused of being a weight-weenie, so any added weight from the bigger wheel does not make a big difference to me; however, I have felt the advantages of the larger wheel with added momentum and better traction which is from what I understand a larger contact patch from the tire to the ground. I have both tires set-up tubeless, although only one of them was designed for it.
The sexiness that is a SS chainline.

For those of you who like model numbers and spec’s, here is the build in detail:
Frame: Niner SIR9 Large -Rootbeer
Fork: Fox F29 RLC 100mm -White
Headset: Cane Creek S8 -Black
Wheels: Industry Nine 29’er XC Silver w/ Red Spokes & Stans Arch Rims -White
Cranks: Truvativ Stylo 1.1 32t -Black
Cog: Niner Cogalicious 32t -Black
Bars: Niner Flattop 9 -Black
Post: Truvativ Stylo -Black
Saddle: SDG FXR -White
Brakes: Hayes Stroker Trail 180mm F/R -Gray
Grips: Ergon GX -Gray
Tires: F: Bontrager FR3 2.35, R: Maxxis Ardent 2.25
Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy -White
Partway up the hill @ San Juan

From long high elevation changing fire road climbs to short weeknight rides, this bike is quickly and unequivocally becoming my favorite steed. I never thought I would return again to a hard-tail frame, but in the short month worth of riding I already feel at home on this bike, and hopefully am ready for my rapidly approaching first SS race this weekend. Stay tuned for those results.
Maples Springs waterfall enroute to Santiago Peak

Team Topeak-Ergon, Troupe Racing Co., and Crank Brothers Ride Report 4-21-10

I was eating lunch and I get a text for RL; Hey dude are you going to do that ride? I respond “that ride???” [Ergon – Troupe racing CO – Crank Brother MTB Ride]. Completely unaware that a special ride was planned to start at Crank Brothers in Laguna Beach, RL and I exchange a few more texts and now I am on track, lets hope my carpool buddy at work is on track to leave on time at 2:30pm. Every minute counts to make the 4pm start time, my work is 40 miles from home and I still needed to grab my gear. Some how I make it to Laguna Beach and find parking next to Dan it was at this point I realize my camera is at home.

We scramble and ride down the street to meet the group at Crank Brothers. We walked into the lobby at CB headquarters a couple minutes after 4pm and meet Jeff Kerkove, &  Sonya Looney from Ergon. We also meet Tim, Tom, Ben, and Roy from Troupe Racing Co and some other nice riders. Needless to say we were in the company of some hardcore and pro riders, I look around and see I am the only rider on SS-rigid {a little nervous I am going to have a hard keeping up with the gearies on the flats}.

Ergon’s riders Jeff and Sonya had there camera’s armed and ready and got some great shots of the ride posted at “der Blog”. It was a no drop ride so the pros would rip it up and come back to check on the Average Joe’s. It is not a regular thing for me to ride with pro mountain bikers but it was a blast, looking forward to the next year already.

Obese Man Finishes 56 mile Vision Quest

Just kidding, well not really according to Body Mass Index calculators I am an obese man at 6′ 2″ and 245 pounds, with an index of 31.5. The fine print reads “While it is generally accurate, the BMI can read too high for athletes or others with large, heavy muscles”.  This is good [I guess] as I registered for the Vision Quest as Rigid Single Speed, I am going to use every last muscle to push my over sized body though the hills for 56 miles.

I started my day at 2:30am only wake up to only hot water in the coffee pot, no coffee in the basket – pre race gitters. Thinking about every next move now after that I didn’t want to miss a beat, it was a good thing I had prepared all my gear to grab and run out the door as the start time was 5:30am and race packet pick up was 4:30. Arriving early (4am) to the start area at the end of Blackstar road, it was already filled with many people either riders or race supporters. The day had officially begun, time to warm up and relax it was going to be long day on the mountain.

Everything went well except for one very minor exception, I didn’t charge the battery in the camera, right after this picture it died. The Redline MONOCOG 29er did really well probably better than I did during the day, it held a nice line when climbing, it handled the long downhill descents without any scares navigating though the rocky trails. I on the other hand was starting to cramp about 17 miles in, a different approach to climbing was needed- standing up on any climb was necessary to keep my legs stretched out. This worked to certain degree, I had to push my body to the limit to make the cut offs in this race. If you don’t make the cut off then you asked to return. It has been said that riding this route is not impossible for most avid riders, but to make this ride with the sharp cut off points makes it very difficult. BIKE Magazine called Vision Quest on of Top Ten hardest mountain bike races in the USA a few years ago. I finished the event with time to spare, my only mechanical was a flat with only four miles to go, that cost me a few minutes as I was hoping to finish in less then 8 hours. I finished in 8:07 not bad for an obese man on a single speed.

2010 Vision Quest Results

Vision Quest Training Preride 3-14-2010

On Sunday I rode the first part of the Vision Quest an Endurance Cross Country Mountain Bike Race, { link for course} . The preride was a 25 mile loop up Blackstar canyon,  to Main Divide, and down Motorway, {link for preride}

I was almost knocked off my bike at Beeks Place by the crazy wind. I was warned about the fierce wind by some other riders that turned around after being blasted, luckily I packed my arm warmers and Windproof Headcover-Fleece Lined from Serfas.

Brought the camera along and snapped some pictures of the trail and took note of the washouts after our recent heavy rains. I wanted to be aware of the dangers lurking in the dark, the event starts at 5:30 am. All 350 participants will be riding in the dark for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, I will be equipped with a light weight Head light from Serfas to help guide me though the mass start.

My model Sarah she works for peanuts.

The Gates were closed to the Mountain range, no public access on motorized vehicles, lets hope it stays that way. Last year a rider was injured by an Enduro motorcycle ripping down the trail during the event.

Last weeks set up, suspension Single Speed still not right for me.

Back to Rigid set up, love it. Monocog update #3 to follow soon

Crevices that will swallow you.

Enormous washouts marked with rocks, tree branches or bright color markings. Keep your eyes open for strange markings in the trail, someone has probably taken their time to warn other trail users of upcoming dangers.

Hopefully my training, bike preparation, and scouting the course will help me Saturday.

Enervitene Energy for Endurance

Enervit sent us a sample of Enervitene Cheerpacks to try, RL sent it my way knowing that I have the “Vision Quest” 56 mile and 12,000 feet of climbing mountain bike event coming up.

I have been training hard for the upcoming event on March 20, 2010, and I need every edge I can get this year.  I just had my second child a month ago and there has been a lot of sleepless nights.

I have registered for the Warriors Society “Vision Quest” as a Rigid Single Speed so I have my work cut out for me,  I have been hill climbing like mad. My training has consisted of riding from home up the side Saddleback Mountain and returning home completing a 20 mile loop. My other training has been digging trenches, moving palm trees, and renovating the my entire yard.  I wanted to test how my body would react to Enervitene before race day, so I conducted my own basic test after six loops totaling 120 miles.

I did not know what to expect when I opened the first packet. It was a refreshing orange flavored syrup that went down easy. The twist off cap is so easy to use even with gloves on while riding the trail.

For three loops I took one Enervitene Cheerpack at mid ride and finished my 20 mile loop though the hills strong. When I arrived at home I was not winded or fatigued after an intense loop pushing hard, nor did I feel a crazy buzz. I just felt good being able to stay awake and help clean up the house after my ride, a Happy Wife is a Happy Life.

Vise versa I drank only water and ate two bananas on three rides and rode the same loop and was fatigued when climbing out of the trail pulling back into my neighborhood. The experience was about the same each ride and I would then want to sleep the rest of the night, this would make my wife crazy.

Enervit also sent some after ride recovery R2 it tastes like orange flavored medicine but it too works. I took the R2 recovery supplement after two 20 mile loop rides, and again was able to keep training the next day. I even took some in the early morning before work when I woke up on the wrong side of the bed after an intense battle in the yard the day before.

I would recommend these two products, as I feel my testing has proved to myself that it does work. The biggest test will come this Saturday March 20, 2010 during the  Warriors Society Pow Wow event. Riding  56 miles in dirt is hard enough let alone on a single speed, I have confidence that Enervitene will help me arrive at the finish line in fair shape all 245 pounds of me. I think if Enervite can keep “The Animal” fueled up on the trail, it most likely will help you too.

R2

R2 is an energy supplement loaded with branch chain amino acids, vitamins and minerals that accelerate the body’s natural recovery process after intense, prolonged exercise. R2 helps restore correct protein levels, and stave off fatigue and its symptoms, and contains simple carbohydrates that replenish your body’s depleted glycogen stores.

Use: Post-workout

Essentials: Simple carbohydrates, branch chain amino acids, L-glutamine, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, polycosanols

Below is some more info about the product

Cheerpacks provide an immediate, caffeine free boost of energy for that mid-ride surge or finishing kick. This is fast energy delivery, in a resealable packet. So effective, it’s almost like cheating!

Use: Finishing stretch, mid-workout push, Essentials: Fructose, maltodextrin and B-group vitamins, Flavors: Original, Orange.

http://www.veltecsportsusa.com/default.aspx?tabid=331

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.