Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend of Riding = (S * 4) Squared

This weekend’s riding binge was all about the S’s:

(Sunny * Six Hours * Singlespeed * Saturday)*(Sunny * Six Hours * Singlespeed * Sunday)

 Ok, I am a bit sore and I was about as sharp as a bowling ball until I had three cups of coffee today. But as I think back to the blur of the weekend, I just smile. I had a great date night with M and I rode the shit out of my singlespeed on some sweet trails in great weather.

Saturday's route is in yellow with Sunday's route in red, overlapping in many places

 Why the Singlespeed binge? We are T-minus three weeks from Mesa Verde baby! Coach LW and I traded emails mid-week and she thought it would be a good idea to spend some quality time on the Selma SS to “toughen up” the body before Mesa Verde. That LW, she is so wise. I definitely discovered some places that need a little toughening. Either my hands are soft from a lack of dirt time or my Ergon grips are out of adjustment because I have a nasty hotspot on my right hand from a million transitions between the grips and the bar ends over the weekend. This has never happened in the past but I have some time to heal up and figure it out. I had two key areas that I wanted to “test” this weekend: My lower back and my feet.

Lower Back
Before Saturday’s ride, I had M tape my lower back with SpiderTech’s Lower Back Spider. This is the first Kinesio tape that I feel has helped take the edge off of my lower back pain and the application of the pre-cut spider is simple. I am encouraged and plan to continue to experiment more with it. I had some discomfort but it never escalated as it often does when I am riding hard.
The Spidertech Lower Back Spider.

I am pleased with how my feet felt after twelve hours of pounding the pedals on the singlespeed. I have had some serious hot foot issues in the past, especially in warm temps, and I think I am doing as much as I possibly can to eliminate the issue.

The three keys for me to have happy feet are:
1) WIDE shoes (In my opinion, Lake makes the widest production mountain bike shoe currently offered) My shoes are not as sexy as Shimanos or Sidis but happy feet are key.
2) Specialized Body Geometry foot beds with Metatarsal pad (Red)
3) Specialized Varus Shim (Orange)

Saturday's profile with the Hard Guy climb early in the ride

Sunday's profile with the 8th St. climb early and the Rocky Canyon Rd-to-Orchard Gulch climb later

I really need to take my camera out on some rides soon but I was on a mission this weekend.  Pics and video of sweet Boise singletrack coming soon.

I am listing my routes for each day mainly for my own future reference:

Saturday’s Route:  55.5 Miles, 8,781’ of Climbing
Climb Bogus Basin Rd
Corrals Trail
Climb Hard Guy (Ugly on the 32 x 21)
Descend Hard Guy
Corrals to 8th St.
Descend Moto Trail #4
Climb Sidewinder
Fat Tire
Descend Freestone
Climb Three Bears (More ugliness on the 32 x 21)
Descend 5-Mile
Climb Rocky Canyon Road
Climb Orchard Gulch
Moto Trail #6 (I goofed and meant to take Three Bears but I improvised)
Descend Freestone
Fat Tire
Descend Sidewinder
Climb Moto Trail #4 to 8th St. (Even more ugliness on the 32 x 21 ‘cause now I am really tired)
Corrals to Bogus Basin Rd.
Descend Bogus Basin Road

Sunday’s Route:  59 Miles, 8,119’ of Climbing
Climb Bogus Basin Rd
Corrals Trail to 8th St.
Climb 8th St
Descend Scottie’s (Greatness!)
Corrals to 8th St. (again)
Descend Moto Trail #4
Climb Sidewinder
Fat Tire
Descend Freestone
Climb Three Bears
Shane’s Loop
Descend Buck’s
Descend Central Ridge
Climb Mtn Cove
Climb Military Reserve Connector
Descend Red Cliffs
Red Fox
Home (Refill two water bottles, it was hot)
Red Fox
Golden Finch
Owl’s Roost
Descend Military Reserve
Mtn Cove
Climb Three Bears
Shane’s to Rocky Canyon Rd.
Climb Rocky Canyon Rd
Climb Orchard Gulch
Descend 5-Mile to Watchmans
Descend Three Bears (made the correct turn today)
Descend Buck’s
Mtn Cove
Climb Military Reserve Connector
Descend Hull (Woohoo!)
Red Fox

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Date Night, Boise Style

After a full Saturday of activity, we regrouped at the house, showered, and grabbed the phat cruisers for date night. The Fatbacks with Surly Black Floyd tires are proving to be awesome "townies".

My hawt date

Rocking the phat cruiser

We tried a new-to-us restaurant downtown: Flatbread Community Oven. Our server was having an "off" night but our food was awesome and the atmosphere is very cool.

Love the oven!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chasing a Barking Spider and Big Ride Sunday

Saturday, April 14th
In an effort to jump into the Boise cycling scene with both feet, I headed to Nampa, ID for the Barking Spider Bash XC race on Saturday for two hours of high-heart-fun on the singlespeed...well, I wish it had only been two hours. Ha! The singlespeeders race with the Pros and Cat1s and do three full laps for a total of 28 miles.

Quick Stats:
Time: 2:14:00
Gearing: 32 x 19 (a little tall for me)
Place: I got spanked

There is nothing like a good roundhouse kick to the nuts and to the ego for a little training motivation. However, it was great to several friendly faces that I haven't seen since last race season and get some "race pace" bike handling practice in.

Sunday, April 15th
With tired legs, I left the house Sunday to explore more new-to-me trails and do some quality climbing for my lead up to the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. Highlights of Sunday's ride were the Corrals Trail, the Hard Guy climb (out and back), and the Watchman’s Trail. My local trails rock!

Sunday's Route:
- Leave from house
- Climb Bogus Basin Rd.
- Jump on Corral's
- Climb Hard Guy (Aptly named)
- Descend Hard Guy (Woot!)
- Continue east on Corral's
- Descend Trail #4 to Crestline
- Climb Sidewinder
- Fat Tire Traverse
- Descend Freestone Ridge (Woot!)
- Climb Three Bears
- Watchman's
- Climb 5-Mile (I now know why the locals usually descend 5-mile)
- Descend Orchard Gulch
- Descend Rocky Canyon Rd to town
- 10' of pavement to home

I had no idea there were this many quality trails available so close to town!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Short Track Mountain Bike Racing is fun!

I jumped into my first Short Track Mountain Bike race, and my first local race as a Boise resident, this past Saturday. The Knobby Tire Series Sagebrush Scramble was a perfect way to get a feel for the local race scene and blow the cobwebs out after a few hectic weeks. Hal & the crew always put on a fun race with a great vibe and this was no exception.

My legs actually felt great...I just wasn't very fast. Short, intense efforts have never been my strength but they are great for bike handling practice and I learned that I need more practice on Boise's typical kitty-litter covered corners. Since my SS is going to see significant race action this season, I raced the SS with a 32x17 and I wish that I had run a 34x17 for the downwind section. I am a "masher", not a spinner.

The start of the Cat 1 race

The Men's Cat 1 leaders early in the race

Mike Sherman was rocking the rigid 1x10

At four years old, Piia was the crowd favorite and finished the Trailblazers race. Piia also would have easily won the "Best Helmet" contest.