Closest thing I have to racing right now is the Move MT Challenge.
It's a fundraiser for the food bank and probably also a little bit for the timing company putting it on with no events to time. Both the organizers are good friends of mine and we were all working together to put on the Missoula pro XC and an amateur event to go along with it when this all happened.
Anyway, there are a bunch of distance and elevation challenges and it goes from July 4th to sept 4th. Anyone can sign up and back date all their rides, runs, swims, whatever if they want to. I signed up for the two biggest ones (1947mi, 116k feet), thinking well, it's not really out of the ordinary for me to ride that much in that period of time but it gives me something to do.
Then poo poo got real because a friend in Bozeman is on this quest to climb 2 million feet this year. 1 on skis, and another on a bike. So I thought, maybe I'll try to keep pace with him for awhile. Now I've been averaging over 5k feet a day since it started and just got passed for 2nd by a guy who's put in two 9k days this week. I did 10k today to get back ahead of him.
WRT real racing, seems pretty ridiculous that people are out doing it right now in the US. I'm pretty doubtful our local cx series is going to happen, which I was going to be helping organize this year, and with how well we've managed gently caress all this up I'm even wondering about next year. Think I'm still the Missoula XC race director and we should probably figure out a date and I should possibly work on some stuff for that at some point. Whitefish guys for some reason decided to start up the weekly XC series. Not sure what the gently caress that's all about.
jamal fucked around with this message at 04:01 on Jul 27, 2020
|# ¿ Jul 27, 2020 03:59|
|# ¿ Jun 15, 2021 12:43|
Our organizer has been floating the idea of small "bubbles" of racers. The regular A/B groups are generally against racing at all. but guess what group has about a 75% "yes" rate?
I'm ok with a year of not racing but it does suck for the kids/juniors. Ivan for example is a 2nd year UCI 17-18 racer so it would have been a pretty important season. I think they're considering just sending him to europe.
|# ¿ Sep 2, 2020 03:48|
Oh yeah I did a zwift race yesterday and realized there have been a few other things I could consider "racing" that happened this year.
A guy in town has done a pretty good job of getting stuff going like the distance/climbing challenge thing this summer that resulted in me having two pretty absurd months and has put me on my biggest year of riding ever. This spring he did a zwift series in place of our mtb racing but I was content to just go ride outside and also didn't have a smart trainer or zwift.
In august, he put on something called "d.e.a.t.h. ride gravel." The death ride, which stands for Drop Everyone Ascending The Hills, has traditionally been a spring group ride where we go up a bunch of climbs around town. Race to the top of every climb, regroup, and ride together to the next one. There are points and prizes and an aid station or two and it's a hard, but fun day. This year Shaun had two of them planned, the standard, plus the gravel version, but they turned into a DIY thing. The gravel one had a little better organization with an official day to do it and some water and snacks placed in a convenient spot on course. I did it by myself and there were a couple of small groups out and so you saw some other people over the course of the day. Total for the route was like 68mi and 11k feet plus I rode another 30 or so getting to/from the route. I took my hardtail and wound up with the fastest overall time.
The other thing that happened was our hill climb. A local bike club had been putting that for about 40 years but stopped doing it recently. So a guy in town started a strava version last year and collected prizes to give out. Due to my summer of riding I was in pretty good shape for this but on the other hand had not been doing any short or hard efforts so I wasn't sure how it would go. Wound up at PR pace and getting 3rd so can't complain. Got a gift card to a pizza place.
No bottles, no flat kit, almost nothing in pocket for run. I wish the wheels were lighter but you go fast enough on the climb that aero is important.
Oh yeah also that zwift thing. Organizer of the spring series and the death ride got another wed night zwift series going in place of cyclocross. Last week I borrowed a trainer to try to do it but didn't get into the meetup and missed it. Then i noticed my shop had a couple of kickr cores and realized that if I wanted to do any zwift etc this winter I had better buy one, so I did. Yesterday's race was fun, it was all the people I'm used to riding and racing with but have barely seen all year and it went a lot like our wed group rides and races usually do. The route was sand and sequoias, which is pretty short and has a small climb in the middle. I got the "kom" and thinned the lead group down to about 8. In retrospect I should have gone harder, but it's hard to see what's going on behind you and you don't really know how everyone else feels like you do when they're right next to you. You want enough people to make it over and have the energy to work and stay together to the finish. That's pretty much what did happen and I wound up getting 3rd and it was my first zwift race so I suppose it went pretty well. The way Shaun is doing these is through meetups instead of in an official race which is nice since it's just the group of racers on the road and it gives you a finishing leaderboard at the end. Although I definitely pipped that guy at the end but in the results it shows him ahead of me and gives us equal times so maybe the precision isn't as good. Other thing is with the group going into the finish it's harder to notice an attack happening. 3 guys got a little bit of space with less than 1k to go and I didn't really notice, and then we're getting closer and closer to the line and no one was doing anything so finally I went and caught the one guy right at the line.
It was good timing on the smart trainer too as it's cold af and snowy outside so I'd otherwise be sitting on my rear end every day. This zwift thing is a lot better than the old fluid trainer staring at nothing or a tv show and I expect I'm going to spend a lot of time on there this winter. Did a little goon group ride last weekend too.
jamal fucked around with this message at 20:16 on Oct 30, 2020
|# ¿ Oct 29, 2020 18:27|
Another wed night zwift race, this time I tried out doing a livestream.
(it's pretty full on from about mile 7 to the finish)
Pretty flat course, I'd rather have some hills in the mix because I don't consider myself very good at sprinting. Especially on a trainer. The finishes of zwift races do seem kind of different where someone can sneak away with like 1k or less and then the pack coordination/drafting dynamics never seem to work as well to reel them in. I'd say I was maybe overly aggressive in my racing but hey someone's got to make some attacks. Upon review, though, I should have done some recon of the course ahead of time and picked some specific places instead of half assed ones I did from too far back. Especially going into the end, I would have liked to be a little fresher to try a solo break, although I was at least making it hard for everyone. And it was fun though. While I didn't make any commentary while I was riding I didn't realize there was no sound other than zwift (turns out my mic was just on mute). Also should have put the window in the bottom left so it didn't block the map and grade and top of the leaderboard. I think we've got two more of these, it's great to be with the group of regular wed night cx guys plus a few extras from out of town. 3rd again. Going to keep doing the livestream thing but try to get some working commentary/sound from myself. My cheap laptop can just barely handle doing it.
Zwift told me I set a new best 20min at the end of that but I've only been on it a week so I haven't really tried doing that or an ftp test or anything yet and also this is the time of year where my fitness is well into a downward slide.
jamal fucked around with this message at 17:04 on Nov 6, 2020
|# ¿ Nov 5, 2020 05:26|
First XC race in a long time tonight. We're still not doing mass start, so the way it works is you can show up any time between 3:30 and 7:30 and do your laps. The course is all taped, there's timing, food, beer, etc. And you can get some friends and start in a small group. I'm working part time for the guy who took over putting on nearly all the local bike racing this year so I was up there last week doing some trail work on the course (after managing a trailwork day sunday morning), and then up there this morning setting up the course. So I guess what I'm getting at is that I could use a day off or two.
Once things were all set up and people were starting and it didn't seem like I needed to do any "work" stuff I got ready and warmed up to do my own laps. Conveniently, 3 friends of mine were about to get started so I hopped in with them. Cory, Kory, and Owen. Kory is always fast, Cory is on a good year and we had fun racing in zwift this winter, and Owen owns the cycling house and has been riding a lot in warm weather.
Course was simple for the first week, mostly up the road, then straight back down, avoiding the pretty technical bottom part of the pro course descent. Next week we'll race the full course and I'm gonna have to get up there and do A LOT of work because it's all overgrown and lumpy and hasn't really been used in two years (it's on private property). We did go through a little bit of singletrack right off the bat, and Cory, after taking the hole shot out of our little group messed up and we all had to get off which was kind of funny. Then we hit the road and Kory took off, I picked up the pace a little and got some room on the other two but he was out of sight by the top of the climb on the first lap. Then I dropped my chain at the bottom because I was riding my old beat to poo poo hardtail with worn out everything because it's way faster uphill than the new Hei Hei and the descent is pretty easy, just a little fast and lumpy in spots. Next two laps I went through that section a little slower and in an easier gear to give the chain more tension and it stayed on.
Owen was always back there but I stayed ahead of him to wind up 7th, behind all people I'd generally expect to be behind. Howard Grotts lives here now and is racing with us so he won by a pretty good amount. I would have liked to be a little closer to the next two guys but to be fair I don't think I've every beaten them in an XC or CX race, plus I did lose a bit of time with the chain thing and slower descending. And all the recent walking and physical labor didn't help.
Anyway, we've got 6 more of these plus a weekend race. I'm going to try racing the hei hei next week because there's a lot of places I can save time vs the hardtail and it has fresh XC tires and new carbon cranks so it's a little lighter and faster than it was a week ago. Last night I thought it actually felt like an XC bike, it's just still almost 28lbs. Really wanted to get a new hardtail xc bike this year (would have gone with an Orbea Alma), but I didn't commit to it back in like December so no bike for me. I think this summer I'll try to order one and then maybe it'll be here by next season.
jamal fucked around with this message at 05:00 on May 8, 2021
|# ¿ May 8, 2021 04:30|
First real bike race in quite awhile for me today. Yeah I've done some zwift, and TTs, and Friday's XC race (which was mostly TT format) but this one was an actual mass start. Which, when I noticed how many people were registered I second guessed my participation. But I'm vaccinated, and so is pretty much everyone there I know, so maybe it's fine?
Anyway, somewhere over 60 people started the 74 mile race, part road and part gravel. (there was also a shorter version). I was really unsure on what bike to use as I have my road bike with rim brakes and 25mm tires, and my cross bike, also with rim brakes, but 38mm tubeless maxxis ramblers. The first part of the race is 13mi on pavement to a pretty short dirt climb, with a really loose and rocky descent, and then back on the pavement, up a bit of smooth dirt, onto more pavement, then a 10mi each way out and back on dirt. Pam, a teammate who lives up there, was starting on her road bike and she knows that area best so I went with the supersix. Plus side, my 25mm corsa controls measure more like 27-28. Minus side, they have tubes and a 32 would be better.
Approaching the first climb I started moving forward in the group and got next to Ivan. He said he wanted to go for the KOM (there was a banner and timing mat at the top), mostly because he had to stop and pee. So he went for it, Dan was 2nd and they started rolling down together, and I crossed in a group of like 4 right behind them. Mostly I wanted to be up there so I could go slower on the descent but if I'd realized the KOM paid out the top 3 I probably could have snagged 3rd as I was pretty comfortably there and then eased off.
Anyway, some guys went absolutely flying down the descent and I didn't. Kevin Bradford Parish passed me going into a corner full of giant loose rocks with his foot out, sliding. 5 wound up in a break and then I was in the 2nd group with about 9-10, with all my skin and air in my tires. Conveniently, with Ivan up the road, myself and another teammate, plus Cory from the cycling house, got to sit in while everyone else did work chasing. Things were pretty uneventful and then we got to the turnaround out on the dirt and I realized that Ivan and Dan were solo with a big gap on the next 3, who were not that far ahead of us. So now I'm in it and start taking pulls and trying to get the group going smoothly. Which doesn't work. Guys are going too hard (probably myself included), other guys are sitting in/barely hanging on, a small group of 3 sneaks up the road and I burn a big match bridging to it and then we're caught after like 2 minutes. Back to where we were and then it's up a hill. I guess I deserved it though. Cory gets a flat, a few guys get dropped, another guy sneaks away but only has like 30s as we go into a 10 mile loop before heading to the finish. This is where it gets a little hilly and I'm thinking will be my chance to get away or up to Eric before the finish. But as we're at the bottom of the loop making two right hand turns, a guy drops a bottle trying to take a drink, looks back, misses that we're turning, and clips Kevin's back wheel. Pretty good crash but he was the only one who went down and seemed ok, just had a flat tire. The rest of us stopped so Eric and the 2nd group of 3 were home free to the finish leaving like 6 of us racing for 7th. Oh also it had started raining.
The ride into the finish has some rolling dirt hills then a descent down to the finish line. It flattens out a bit at the line but it's only like a mile mostly downhill over the top so l made a big attack. But it's the 2nd to last rise and I look up and realized I've made a huge mistake. Thankfully, no one has anything for a counter attack as I climb the last hill trying to look backward at everyone at the same time, now there are four of us. Then just as we get up to speed a guy goes and actually gets a reasonable gap, I'm chasing, have a few bikes on the other two, but Kevin, the road state champ, is sitting on the back, waiting. I'm hoping he'll spin out his 1x cross bike, but no. He goes with a few hundred meters, passes me, and gets the other guy at the line. It was pretty close between the 3 of us, but I had nothing left at that point. Finished 9th, Ivan won.
Not too much to complain about but I definitely made some tactical mistakes. I guess that'll happen when you haven't ridden in a group or raced for so long. Should have not chased those three guys alone, and should have done a better job with my attack at the end. Think it would have worked if saved that effort and done it at the right place.
Our 2nd group when it was all together on the dirt out and back
hosed my bike up pretty good. Will probably need to do new brake cables, tape, BB bearings, take the headset apart, service the freehub, replace the chain...
jamal fucked around with this message at 19:29 on May 23, 2021
|# ¿ May 10, 2021 03:09|
Week two of our xc series tonight, and the first time I've worn full spandex on my hei hei I think. Doing the full xc course lap it is nice to have a more modern bike but it definitely doesn't climb like the old king kahuna. I was in a good spot for about the first 5 minutes and then guys started pulling away and one more passed me. Then I stayed there and held off the fastest masters racers (here we do 40 plus and I'm gettin close to there and we all started together). Thankfully it was only two laps because I was not having a good time. It was the first warm one and that always gets me. Like halfway up on the 2nd lap it seemed to be a little cooler and then I felt alright to the end.
And the hei hei does make up decent ground coming back down. Comparing my best lap on strava I'm even for the first five minutes, and then lose 37 seconds in the next ~7 to the top of the last road climb before you get onto a kind of rolling bit of trail across the top of the course. There it's pretty even- gain a little ground going down, lose a bit on the short climb back up, then lose a bunch on the last stretch of road to the top, at this point I'm 52 seconds back on about a 20min lap. Then I come back to within 36. picking up 22s over about 3 minutes.
So maybe this will be an xc bike yet. As it it's close to 5lbs heavier than my hardtail, but for the most part I was glad to be on it, and I have some lighter parts hopefully coming in the next few weeks. The guy in front of me kept riding away on the road and then I caught him at the bottom of the first lap. Then did it again on lap 2 and was almost in a sprint finish. Also, I did my fastest 2nd lap ever so that's something. Comparison says I did the 2nd half from the top, across, and down about 30s faster, and then was only significantly slower on the first part of the climb where you're basically sprinting. Kind of promising that I can put down a lap a good amount faster than I've done if I can just put it all together.
Behind Howard, Ivan finished 2nd and then his dad was 2nd in masters so we got some decent team points tonight. I was 10, after a 7th last week.
jamal fucked around with this message at 14:53 on May 15, 2021
|# ¿ May 15, 2021 05:16|
Friday xc #3 tonight. As usual, I was there all day but had to set up most of the course solo as a couple of the regular guys couldn't make it right away. Just me and the mule and a lot of stakes and tape. And candy. I got there at 10 and then was down at the bottom with everything marked by 2, just as the course opened for racers. The way things work is that there's a mass start, but if you don't want to do that you can ride it alone or with friends whenever you want. Today we went at 6 so I had some time to kill, ate, went home for a bit because I forgot my garmin, tried to relax, and started wishing I'd just gone and gotten my race over with because the weather started to be not quite as good.
This was the top when I got up there doing setup
They went at 430, and after that it started snowing. By the time we got up to the top of the course it was almost like a blizzard going on. Course went pretty much straight up to the very top trails and then right back down, over just one lap, so it was at least pretty short and you stayed warm until the very end.
I was a little far back at the start. Missed my pedal, had to put a foot down taking the wrong line trying to pass someone, but slowly closed in on Jake and got on his wheel near the top. We've been going back in forth in both real life and on zwift, but he got me pretty good last week. Plus it's a long way up, so I didn't try to make a move to pass him. I really should have though. I had a little left and then think I could have gotten some space on the descent. As it was we came out of the trees into the finish together and he got me at the line.
Last week was hot and I definitely appreciated the cooler air. Did the first part of the climb that was the same as last week a touch faster while feeling better and pacing myself to get all the way to the top. Then it was a PR down the descent, but like I said I think I had more in it (and haven't done that full ride down on my hei hei in a race situation).
at the top behind Jake
Post race festivities
free beer from big sky, food from burns st bistro, free drink coupons from dram shop. Plus the organizer gave me a sweet patagonia puffy because I work there.
The last finisher coming in, she started solo after everyone I think
Howard Grotts did it in about 30min, I haven't checked times or results but I think I was in the 36ish range. A number of people went earlier in the day so our mass start only had 6-7 cat 1/2s. Like I said I kind of wish I'd done that because I likely would have gone a bit faster, but it's more fun getting out there and actually racing other people.
Not quite an xc race bike but way way better than the old beat to poo poo hardtail going downhill
jamal fucked around with this message at 15:12 on Jun 7, 2021
|# ¿ May 22, 2021 05:00|
Oh yeah we had another friday XC race last week. This year all of our races are at the old closed down ski hill where the pro xc course is. The bottom half with the pro course is private property, while the top half was bought by a land trust who let us build a bunch of mtb trails. It's the only place around with bike only, downhill only trails (a whole two of them). Last week we rode the xc course and then cut over and up to the very top and then down for one lap. This week we bypassed most of the lower course and went straight up roads to get to the top. Then used flow trail into the xc descent which is the longest way down. 1200ft. 20ish min climb, then 10min descent. Two laps.
Because of the long descent with jumps it was hard to not want to ride the full suspension bike. But also with a steep road climb twice I wasn't looking forward to getting up there on it. Plus I never go into these completely fresh and rested. This week I did two workouts, a trail work day, and then was there all morning setting up the course. My "warm up" was also a bit excessive as I wanted to get a better handle on the descent. I hadn't ridden that upper trail since last fall and my first run down it on thursday's group pre-ride wasn't pretty. After two laps I was feeling a lot better though and even set a PR.
At the start I actually got my pedal which helps a lot. Being like 4th wheel instead of 10th goes a lot way in that start sprint and I was right on Toby's wheel. For about the first, uh, 6 minutes? Then he drifted away a bit but I felt alright and was pushing pretty hard. Then a junior came by me on his new fancy lightweight hardtail, but I beat Jake to the top and was not far behind Toby or Travis, the guys usually battling for the next spot behind Howard (not here), Ivan, and Dan. Plus another fast junior and a guy from out of town were just ahead. Then the hei hei and my practice laps got their chance to shine and I caught that guy plus the local junior on the descent. Jake was right behind me and about halfway up the climb on lap two got to my wheel and attacked. I stayed with him and he bobbled a bit on a tight uphill corner so I went by again, then the other guy passed us both. I stayed with Jake to the very last part of the climb that's really steep, and was dying, and he got some space on me. We both caught and passed that other guy but he got to the line about 20s ahead of me.
Edged out by Jake again, wishing I had a modern hardtail xc bike again. Pretty soon I'm going to try to get an order in with Orbea for an Alma with the hope of having one for next season. But I don't feel too bad about the climbing this week and am also pretty happy with being one of the fastest guys down the course. That was about the hardest I've pushed it in awhile and I had to lie down in the grass at the finish.
My fitness seems to be in a good spot and I have the state championship road race coming up this weekend. That will also be tough as I need to be out there early to put up signs and sweep corners. I won't make it up the climb with Ivan and Andrew and Dan but that does allow me to sit into the chase like at the gravel race a few weeks ago and be fresh for the return trip. Then another friday xc or two and the Butte 100 at the end of July. Fancy new wheels for the hei hei are supposedly going to be available this week as well but I'm not fully confident I'll actually be able to snag a set.
oh hey a picture appeared
jamal fucked around with this message at 15:43 on Jun 1, 2021
|# ¿ May 31, 2021 17:54|
Another friday xc race last night. It's been hot all week and I've had a lot to do with the pro xc coming up next weekend and the amateur usac version today. Last monday and tuesday I went up to get some of the course straightened out which had a fun highlight of our utility truck deal dying at the very top of the mountain and me having to get it back down. Thankfully, being at the very top of the mountain means gravity was my friend so I only had to push it in like 3 places and got to the bottom before dark.
So anyway, friday we still had a good amount more setup to do like adding a shitload of course marking for today's races and getting started on the start/finish area, which is all lined with fencing and involved putting a lot of stakes and wood posts in the ground. Also we didn't get a new battery for the mule so I had to jump start it with my car and then leave it running every time someone needed to use it. Also it was hot out. I got there at about 930 and by about 3-4 we had things pretty well set up. My watch said I took 21k steps and walked 12mi. Race start was at 6 so I sat in a chair for a little bit and then got ready and didn't really warm up.
Low turnout I think because of today's races and the heat. I think there were less than 10 of us in 1-2. A fast junior went out hard off the bat and I kind of chased him a little and went harder than I wanted to and was 2nd guy out there behind him after the first lap. Then i started to be impacted by the error of my ways and started getting passed. First by Dan, who got there late and started late and is really fast, then this guy Kirby who's pretty good, then some of the masters- Cameron, the leader, and Phil, a teammate. Kenley, who had the same "worked on the course all day" handicap as me, was also back there. Kirby was gone but Phil and then Cameron got into the descent just in front of me. Phil's pretty fast downhill but Cameron is not, and I was on his wheel before the bridge crossing near the bottom, then he pulled away again on the start of lap 3 and caught up to Phil. And then I caught Phil and passed him near the top on the road, somewhat motivated because Kenley was still right there. I thought I had a good gap but Kenley got right up to me going into the descent and then we caught Cameron, who let us by. It's a bit uphill going into the finish and I just didn't have anything to stay with him.
So that was way harder than I wanted to go and I lost and I have a road race tomorrow. I get to set up the signs on the course tomorrow and put on trail work today. Rest has not really been a thing for me lately. Plus side my road bike is real shiny right now and ready to go after a bunch of maintenance.
here's a picture of me looking better than i felt
jamal fucked around with this message at 03:49 on Jun 6, 2021
|# ¿ Jun 6, 2021 03:39|
|# ¿ Jun 15, 2021 12:43|
Our, uh, like one road race that's all actually on pavement was today, and was also the state championship again. Kind of a lower turnout because some people went out to tour of walla walla, and also because it's montana and we hardly have any usac road races there was only one cat 1/2 so congrats Kevin on your third state championship in a row. The other fast guys were Ivan and Dan.
My hope for the day was for Ivan and Dan to get away on the climb allowing me to sit in while Kevin did most of the work chasing. But nope, Kevin made it over with those guys despite being pretty big. I hung onto them the longest and then waited up for the next two guys. No one else was even in sight at that point so we had a group of 3- me, Brian, and Eric. We didn't have the power to catch the leaders which included my teammate Ivan so I did actually work to stay ahead of everyone else. At the turn around we were 1:40 behind, 2:00 ahead of the next two, and everyone was pretty spread out in small groups. I was struggling but took my turns and hung on until the end, where I was beaten by both the other guys up the little climb to the finish. Lot of wondering if I'm fat and slow right now or just pretty fatigued from all the work I've been doing at races and on trails.
But great race by Brian, he was really strong today. Since he hadn't done a usac race since like 2017 he was apparently downgraded to cat 4 from 3. Then Ivan, who won, in a sprint with Kevin, is still a cat 3, so I did not repeat my cat 3 state championship, but did get 2nd and 6th overall which I can't complain about too much.
Now I need to actually get some rest and then start doing big weeks to get ready for the butte 100.
Bike was good, thankfully. I hadn't ridden it since trashing it at the last race which was a lot of dirt and mud, and finally got it back together wednesday night. New bottom bracket bearings, new chain, wheel true, freehub service, tires, brake cables, bar tape, and a really thorough cleaning. The lower headset bearing is not so great and clicks I think, but thanks cannondale for having a weird headset.
oh and a cat 3 podium picture
really thinking about getting a haircut. additional fun fact, 3rd place is the guy who crashed in our group at that last road race when he looked back at a bottle he dropped while we were going into a turn.
jamal fucked around with this message at 02:57 on Jun 9, 2021
|# ¿ Jun 7, 2021 02:10|