Tuesday, April 26, 2011

D2D Bobcat and Yeti

I thought it was a great race- the "worse" the weather got the more happy and excited I became. The Yeti rode amazingly well despite his prerace strategy- although I don't think we'd have it any other way. We needed him to do some vanquishing and that he did. I'd say what I enjoyed the most about the day was shooting it with Nate, Mac and the Ghost in between laps. I had made a couple Nutella, Cheese, Honey, Peanut Butter and Sprout sangwiches and I really honestly believe that they came through for me. The other thing i'm kind of proud of is the One Beer Per Lap policy. Otherwise it's just a bunch of hard work- might as well be on a nasty darkside road ride. I'm proud of all the Gallup riders and all the riders in general who didn't complain about the weather. Some racers were lobbying to have the race called a lot earlier- before it even started raining and snowing. I would like to take this opportunity to say what a great race, beautiful day and solid group of people to share it all with. Ok now off to polish my trophy...

Monday, April 25, 2011

D2D Andy & Chuck

Well. We raced our bikes.  We suffered.  After 3 years of chasing the good doctor Tempest, we finally came out on top to wrest the Gallup Cup for ourselves.  Then we ate pizza.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tour of Socorro

Last weekend saw two Rez Dogs heading down to Socorro.  Bob R.  competed in the full Omnium doing both Saturday's monster South Baldy Hill Climb and Sunday's Cerrillos Del Coyote XC race.
Bob rides in the 50+ Cat 2 and did quite well, managing a podium spot for 3rd place in the Hill Climb and 7th place in a good sized and strong 50+ field in the XC race, together earning Bob a 3rd place podium spot overall in the Omnium.

When I asked Bob about the Hill Climb, the man of few words responded, "It was a suffer-fest!" Bob did say he enjoyed the XC course.

Way to go Bob.

I was unable to do both the Hill Climb and the XC so I wisely choose the XC as my race.  (although looking at the results for the Hill Climb, I think I could have done pretty well this year)
In a nod to my previous performance at the Screamer, and to stir the pot a bit, I took off off of the front on the start of the race, using a rouge steer making its way across the dirt road to my advantage to jump ahead of the field.  By the time we reached the turn off to the Jeep trail a hand full of guys had caught back up and I was sitting around 6th place.  I managed to pick off a few more as we made the switch back climbs and was pretty happy with my position at that point.  A fellow racer, Garrett, who always gives me some good competition was in sight and I was hoping to chase him down.  About halfway through lap 1, the course takes off down a pretty fast Jeep Trail/Fire road with a really nasty rock ledge on one of the corners.  Knowing that lots of guys seem to flat there I proceeded to bunny hop the ledge instead of slowing down.  Lets just say my hopping skills need some work.
(see the youtube clip below for some pointers)

Instead of allowing me to maintain my speed and chase down Garrett I managed instead to open up a previously small sidewall tear in my rear tire.  By the time I had reached the road for the second lap it was too low and I had to stop and put some air in it.  One guy passed me that I then had to chase down to try and regain my spot.  About another 2-3 miles in, again my rear tire was painfully low...crossing the bumpy Jeep trail ruts was giving my rear wheel more of a workout than I can afford on my teacher's salary, so I again stopped to hit it with some air.   And again 2 more riders passed me (1 from my age group, 1 from the 40-49).  To my luck I was able to catch them again and regain my spot.

Riding up the final hill to the finish I could tell I was on about 15 psi in the rear tire, but risked it to try and maintain my spot at the finish.  It held and I ended up being the 4th guy in and 3rd for my age group.   It was another fun race in Socorro and I'm hoping to get a big Rez Dog turnout to dominate next year!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dawn to Dusk 2011

I'm going to ask some of the other racers to chime in too, but here's my take:

I paired up with an NMORS racer from Albuquerque named Pat Caldwell.  I met Pat a few years back when I managed to beat him by about 1 second at the Sandia Peak Challenge.  After our close finish Pat asked me "What age group are you in?"  Where I responded, "20-29."  I then asked Pat the same when he responded "50+"!  Needless-to-say Pat's a great rider, who happens to be in his 50's!

Pat approached me earlier this spring about pairing up for the Duo-Masters category for D2D.  With all other Rez Dogs either accounted for or tied to other obligations I thought Pat and I would make for a fairly competitive team.

And that we did.
Despite the epic conditions, odd teamwork issues and one of kind mechanicals, Pat and I managed to pull out a 4th place finish. To elborate some:
-I rode the first lap only to arrive at the transition area with a rear wheel that would hardly spin.  I sent Pat out for his 1st full lap then headed to the pit to try and remedy the situation.  After working my butt off and trying to unstick a stuck rear piston and running what seemed like a quart of mineral oil through the system, the caliper was still not working right and I couldn't even get my rear wheel in.  I then had to make a decision.  Do I go out with no rear brake (actually removing the rear pads so my wheel would spin) or do I send Pat out on an unexpected double and call my wife to bring me another rear brake.
I chose the ladder.
Pat came through the transition a little later than expected.  He had a rear tire that continually went soft and ended up putting a tube in.  I had spent my time waiting for him trying to decide how best to tell him that he had to go out again.  The look on his face tells me I didn't figure it out that well, but Pat took off nonetheless for his second lap in a row.  Meanwhile I headed over to the the REI mechanics who were volunteering and immediately started working on removing my rear brake.  My wife arrived about 15 minutes later and we quickly began remounting my other rear brake.  Kudos to the REI mechanic that put up with my shenanigans and helped me complete the task.  My wife and he pretty much saved my race day!

Pat came back in with a pretty respectable 2nd lap and I was ready.  Having only ridden about 45 minutes at this point, I was chomping at the bit and took off.  The west wind had now started to pick up and I used it to my advantage to try to make up some time on the way out...of course coming back around on  2nd Mesa and heading back west that same tailwind was now a demoralizing headwind.  I survived and made it back to the transition with a solid 1st lap...happy that the only people to pass me were a pro-rider from ABQ. and another top rider.  Not knowing Pat's situation and now being in a completely different race strategy that originally planned, I waited for Pat, unsure if I was suppose to go out again.  After about a minute or  two I figured Pat had planned on me riding two in a row and I headed out again.  (little did I know Pat was actually on his way over to meet me, but running late!)
The wind had become epic at this point and as I made a tight 180 uphill turn on 3rd Mesa, the wind literally blew me off my bike!  Living in Gallup and generally used to riding in high winds, this was a 1st for me.  Lap three was strong but not quite as fast as lap two for me and the snow was beginning to fall as Pat went out.

Our laps after this were all generally quite good for the conditions and despite the low temps, high winds and snow, the HDT was in good shape and quite fast.

In the end, Lindsay and the crew ended up cutting the race about 2 hours short, so Pat and I each had one more lap for a total of 8 laps in 9 1/2 hours. 

All in all it was one heck of a day.  Spring in New Mexico is so unpredictable that an endurance race can easily take on a whole new meaning.

Stay tuned for a little ride report from some of the other racers and pics to arrive soon!

thanks for reading,

Here are some pics of some cold racers!  Andy and Chuck tore it up to take control of the Gallup Cup for 2011!  (they also managed a more the respectable 4th place in the open duo category against Pro riders and the like!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Beautiful this morning before the wind hit. Got out and rode the course for next weekend. Its in good shape, and some of the YCC gang was out making some small, but needed repairs, on 3rd Mesa. I think the Rez Dogs are going to be showing well. Everyone seems to be riding quite strong, especially so early in the season. We'll get some photos and results up here after Saturday.