I was doing New Years this year up at MuttonTop near Standardsville VA. The Cabin had no plumbing, or electric, but a great view. The last day of the year Kev wanted to do a ride, I had planned to do a ride the following day on the cross bike, but said I would go out with him too. I road my cross bike with 42mm in front and 40mm in the rear, with a 34x34 low gear. We started the ride and were expecting to follow this fire road over the ridge to a dirt road. Well we ended up going on this hiking trail that had us (shocker) hiking more then biking. Kev is a beginner mt. biker but is a good runner, so he is working on getting those biking muscles. It was also a good equalizer with me on the cross bike and him on a mt. bike I was not able to go too fast on the downhills. Finally we get to an intersection and realize we are only 100yds from where we started! We then took the left turn which was the correct way to go. The fire road was totally ridable besides all the blow-downs on the trail. We get to the dirt road, and we descended like 1000ft real quick was a fast desent with alot of turns you really couldn't let it ride. We looked at the map and saw that this Mutton Hollow road went near to where the cabins were, so there might be a trail that we could do to get there. Well the road goes for a awhile, and then turns to dirt, then a gate where state matience ended. We were at a crossroads here do we turn around and go on the road back or adventure forward and hope to find something. We went around the gate and went up this gravel road, and then we saw that it deadended into someone's cabin:-( But right when we saw that we saw a trail going to our right that was the direction towards the cabins. The trail was freshly blazed, but It was a total hiking trail, he had to push the bikes most of the way. We finally arrived below the Morris Cabin and made our way back up to MuttonTop for Pho Soup for Lunch. We started the ride with the idea to be gone for 2 hours that turned to closer to 4. I think if I did this again I would just take out the first hiking loop, and revese what we did but add the longer dirt ride. The hiking trail back up to the cabin had some more ridable stuff if you were going down hill. Kev did good maybe I will do some more rides with him in the future.
I have known Bruce for about 3 or 4 years. I used to race him in the Wednesdays at Wakefield races. We both raced sport back then, and have both moved up. I have done several endurance relay races with him, and I hope to compete against him this year in the Mid-Atlantic Cup. We did a ride on Sat. that is called "The Good, The Bad, and the Hilly". The ride combines a bunch of hills and there is Sugarloaf mountain for good measure. Bruce had ridden for 3 days straight so his legs were blown, and mine were still hurting from a ride I did 2 days before. We did the usual off-season talk, about maybe buying new a bike or parts, races that we would like to do, also Bruce gave me some incite into the whole power tap training thing. Bruce and myself are diverging this year with himself concentrating on road racing and I will be concentrating on endurance mt. bike racing. We will both be doing racing against each other, but he is not gunning for the SM100 this year, just to ride it. I will do some road races, but they will not be my "goals" next year. I was a little more spunky on the ride, I did sugarloaf, which Bruce opted out of, but the crafty veteran got the best of me on the last climb. We ended with a 3 hour ride time which wasn't bad for 2 people in the off season.(2:45 is the fastest I have done the ride)
The first ride of the weekend was a short one, but longer then I expected. I bought my nephew a trail-a-bike for X-Mas, and I went and rode it with him on Sat. before the rain came. I was riding my cross bike set up with some street/path tire combination I wanted to try for following day's ride. I put my dad's cushy seat on the bike because my seat post was carbon fiber and I didn't think the trail-a-bike thing and the carbon seat post would be a good match. Well Cole did a good job, after he figured out the whole peddling thing. We went off-road on the grass around this pond, and we even got through some tough stuff I didn't expect us too. He finally got tired, so I took him home. He was so tired in fact when we road the next day he didn't even pedal after 10minutes I took him back home he said a funny line,"Cole wanna go lay on the couch"
The second ride I did was a little spin near where my parents live, the ride had about 10-14 miles of unpaved road, and I had my bike set up with some great tires that could do both. In back I was running a 32mm Panaracer tire that was smooth with some grit to it, this seemed good since you don't need too much traction in back on dirt roads if you are not riding agressive. For the front I had this Nashbar tire that I have used before that has a raised center tread and some side grippers for that give you a little bite into dirt. So that was a nice 36 mile 2 hour ride and the parents weren't too upset that I was gone for a bit.
The following is a response I had on the local race board. There were many issues that were brought up that started with Georgia Gould's petition about equal pay for women in cycling events. This lead to people talking about the IronMan and Running events that have equal pay, which lead to people saying that because with the amount of participation these events get the sponsors flock to them, which lead to women doing this events because they were participating not competing, and they seem less dangerous.
Cycling could have a participation kind of feel to it, and does to certain events. I race road, mountain, and cross. All the 100mile mountain bike races in the country have more a participation kind of feel to them. For the SM100 I did well compared to local people, but I wasn't racing other people just myself. Also the Iron Cross was somewhat the same way, but felt more like a race. Now the top 10 in the men's and women's field were racing. The issue there is that we all started together and it was one race. So imagine the local road race, where CAT1,2,3,4,5, and the Women CAT1,2,3,4 all start the race at the same time. I know I would be there not to have a placing but to participate. I think one of the things that people are looking over is that Running races, and some Tri races are events that people do to participate because there are very little "events" that are not competitive. Now in cycling we have a whole subset of charity centuries, and rides that get sponsors, I mean look at some of the cross state tours that get huge turnout. People go there to participate not to win. Now one of the things that makes bike racing great is that we have categories. I always tell people to go out and try a beginner mountain bike race, and you should be able to compete against someone. In running I am a total beginner, so I will never do well. With the system that running has setup I will always be a participant, not a competitor. Lastly for the record I agree with Ms. Gould with her petition. I think that as a governing body(UCI) they need to have mandates that stick up for the minorities in a group. The MINIMUM equal payout for Top 5 for UCI races makes perfect sense. Now for local grass roots races, that is another can of worms. My uninformed opinion is if the disparity between the men and women is really bad, just get rid of the prize money. You can now weigh in.
I have been thinking about wheels lately, I have allot of my bikes figured out, with some odds and ends here and there that I need to take care of. I have been riding my spinergy XAero V2 for 7 years now, and I really like them, but I am thinking I need something a little stiffer. So here are some of the wheels I have been having my eye on.
Then there was this Idea to build a the perfect ultralight 29er disc wheel that could be used on the crossbike as well.
ZTR 355 29er AC Disc Wheelset
Well one can dream, I am thinking one of these wheel sets will be bought in the coming year, I will let you know what I get.
(Photos Left by Craig)This race is my last race of the season!!! Finally. It was overdue, I have been skating on form from the SM100 and I have been tapped out since the last race I did. For this race I laid in bed for 15 minutes debating if I was going to do it. Since the weather was going to hold I decided to give it a go. I just barely made registration, and I did two laps on the course. I really liked the course layout. I would have preferred a longer climb in there, but that is not really cross. I signed up the day of, so I, along with my teammates Kent, and Loren were like in 60th position at the start. I knew I needed to gun it at the beginning, which I was not too worried about, because I seem to usually have fast starts then fade. Well the gun goes off and I gun it a little bit on the pavement, and I get to the grass in an OK spot. Two things that helped me out were not being afraid of others bumping me, and being able to do track stands instead of having to put my foot ddown. A great thing was hearing people cheer for me, and hearing Kent, who was a couple places behind me, cheer me on when we would be on different parts of the course but were near each other. Early on I got behind Matt Parse's (who ended up in third) Wheel, and thought that was the place to be, but he was really motorin' and then before the barriers I tried to get around several people and was riding the tape when my handle bars got caught in the tape. This was almost a bad thing but luckily the tape broke so I didn't get slowed down. By the time I had gotten to the run up I was sitting in 5th place. I was there for a little bit, but then Joseph Zorn and Brett K. From Drexel Cycling came around me. I was battling Brett for a lap I think. I remember getting annoyed because the places I could go faster, J.Zorn slowed, and then in the open flats they put it on. Then Drexel Brett passes me for good, and then I have the next two, Kenfrom Coppi, and Matt from BBC on my heals. I think they got in front of me as well, and it was the same thing that I was faster on parts they were slow and vice versa, but the parts I was slower on, you can easily pass. I think I am in front of them, and then I see Loren from my team coming up. After the little climb I am resting , getting ready for the run up, and the gravel. Loren goes in front of me and then in the gravel I encourage him, so we don't slow down and have the two other guys catch up. We do the steep downhill and I am getting antsy so at the next downhill Loren was nice and gave me the lane, I then took the inside line through the chicane and actually cut it pretty tight hitting a tree branch. With me in front, we get some distance, and tthen Loren was in front again, I thought he was going to be gone, but with the turns I was able to catch up to him. We then are going through the final trees and gravel to the pavement road. Loren was in front but not by much, but I was not drafting. So when we get to the pavement, I am thinking, Loren is like 135 lbs or something, I need to use my 185 lbs to my advantage. I shift to the big ring (50) and something in the back, and start turning over the gear. I think I can beat him to the line if I can get on top of this gear, so I am standing and it's starting to turn and I end up catching him. I'm still not sure but I think I beat Loren by 2 feet or something. So that has been my closest cross finish. I got 7th which I was happy with considering that I wanted top 10. It was cool riding with Loren and hopefully next year we will do some endurance Mountain bike races, and some cross as well. Ryan Bannon got second, and knew he was going to rock it, he hasn't slowed down like I have this fall (getting a new bike helps :-) ) Also Ryan has lost like 5 pounds or so. He is like 6'3" weighing in the low 170s. If I was that weight I would be kicking some A**. OK time to open a beer, the off season has begun!!!
(Photos below Kevin Dillard They Rock!)
More Photos By Darren Biggs and Click here Craig Mathew
|Capital Cross 2007|