Thursday, May 29, 2008

DRAPER RACE - Wed May 28th

By the time the race and awards were done it was way dark! Here's the ARANTIX 69'er and "Regular" side by side without the front wheels.

The Memorial day race was washed out so we had the make up race yesterday. It was a good turnout despite the postponement and mid week time slot. The length of the races were shortened as well (Expert and pro only 2 laps rather than three- Thank God). The consensus was that this was a fun race and course. At the start there was a pretty wet and deep stream crossing from all the rain and late snowmelt. As ED noted on the ICUP website we would have plenty of time to let are feet dry between laps. The course conditions otherwise were good and fast.

This was the first race for the 69'er ARANTIX and I felt relatively rested. Well the ARANTIX didn't let me down. The climb was good as ever and then I hit Clark's! Generally I have to hold back on the downhill during rides since it is two traffic but now with the course closed to uphill traffic I was able to scream down! Wow! I couldn't believe how well it hugged the turns! Last year I raced the full suspension Stumpjumper down which did well on the turns, but the front 29 inch wheels made the descent even better! There's no going back. I again got out to a good start and was out in 4th after the long climb but the cramps and fatigue set in on the second lap and I slide to 6th.

I've been reading up about over training and some of the sources describe up to 6 weeks for recovery! I don't think I can wait that long! I do think that is what's been the problem. I worked extra hard a the beginning of the season due to this sponsorship that I really think I burned out. Oh well, the bottom line is I have to make this fun so I am going to take it easy for a bit longer and see what happens.

Dot didn't get first for once! She missed it by 6 seconds! Her and Tasha duked it out the whole race. Dot did say her chain fell off and she lost about 12-20 sec putting it back on. Who knows if that would have made the difference. Congratulations Tasha! (and Happy Birthday!) Brad KEyes, her hubby who races in my category took first. Not a bad pair of racers.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

ARANTIX 69'r !

On the way back from Sea Otter we had a lot of time and Carson and Chris got into brainstorming and thought that 29 inch wheels would be something to try on the ARANTIX. The rear triangle is fixed so what about a new front fork set? Carson made some measurements and felt it would work. Chris and KC had a new 29 inch fork. I liked the idea!

Well I brought this up kind of half jokingly to Lester at Delta7sports and he was all over it! Kudos to the Delta7sports team, they are innovators and have been very supportive of Carson and I. Well here it is! Tyler at Delta 7 sports helped me (he did most of it) put on the Reba 29 inch race fork . I borrowed Carsons (thanks buddy) front wheel and had the ARANTIX 69'R on the Draper race course the same day.

Wow! She sure sings down Clark's trail! She has all the climbing power I love but now she corners smooth and rolls right over the bumps and drops! I'm sold!

By the way, Clark's trail is beautiful with blue spring flowers lining the sides. They'll be spectacular for the race.

634 miles on the ARANTIX to date and she's got a new look!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I knew there was going to be trouble soon as I got to the race. My legs were still sore from my race there on Wed. which was dismal. I don't think my legs have been recovering. The race went better than expected since I didn't cramp up until about 1 mile left in the race. That's the longest my legs have lasted for several races. Was it the CarboRocket and Endurolytes! This year my legs are giving out before my lungs which is unusual. My latest assessment is that I am over-training. This week I am going to take it easy and see what happens.
It's interesting when I look at my times for last year. This was the start of my first place finishes in the sport category. Such good memories and feelings. So I have to look at this race and realize that I did about the same average time per lap as last year except that I did three laps instead of two. Something else interesting I noted is that this years 40 + expert class is faster than last year. With my time of 2:21 I would have placed 5th in the group last year compared to this year's 8th. Competition is good, but it hurts.

Dot did it again! I think she's feeling the pressure to move up :) Jen's leg is recovering well; she took 3rd!
Remember; the rate limiting component in cycling is you. Ride on.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sherwood Hills, Logon race

I got 5th (or last) depending on how you want to look at it. I'd say I felt like I was fifth. This is the closest I've been to the front so far! I was actually 3rd for a while and only 3 minutes separated first and last! The times were close enough that it could have been a much different podium group. The race course was perfect for the Arantix. The tight wheel base was excellent for the tight smooth turns in the trees. She held together through the muddy sections well and NO malfunctions! The Arantix and I were plugging along well into the 4th lap when that darn cramping in the quads returned! I lost momentum and I new it was over. I've got several theories on what's happening and am going to make a few corrections to remedy this issue for the next race. Stay tuned for what happens next week.

The race over all was pretty interesting. The first race was the beginners and women 35 +. They suffered! It had hailed the night before and the course was really wet! Dot had to actually get off her bike to declogg the rear triangle (as I am sure most of the racers did). She took first by 12 minutes. Not sure how she did it when she had to get off and had slide into a tree. What a mess the bikes were! Next the sport groups went and by the second lap it had dried up so that the course was getting pretty fast. Finally, by the time our group of expert and pro's went it was smooth, dry and packed! There were some short muddy spots left over but nothing that was remotely an issue for us.


Remember; the rate limiting component in cycling is the engine. Ride on.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Well another race another sore spot (or two). If it ain't one thing it's another. Crash and burn. Down and out. Oh well there's next time.

Do you have the idea that maybe the race didn't go so well? Yup. On my second lap down the banked wash my back cassette locked up thereby locking my chain and the Arantix bucked me off. Actually we slide along a ways together. She's OK. As I took the back wheel off, the cassette spilled all over the ground. I was able to get it together and do a mile or so and it did the same. I was done. I got back to the start and realized there was blood all over my arm. I got stitches that evening before I went to work. These are some benefits of being in the business.


Dot got first (I told her so). And the rest of the team seemed to have had many odd mechanical issues. All in all it was good weather and it was good to see the team again.

I rode off the frustration today up Clark's trail (yes, it's open) and more. I must say she climbs well! I had a great ride!


Remember; the rate limiting component in cycling is the engine. Ride on.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

SEA OTTER- April 20th

So the week after the Hurricane race we were headed out to Moneterey, CA to race. Lester, from delta7sports had brought up the race a few weeks before and wanted to know if we would race it. Carson, Chris, KC and I all went together (well I met them there). What a venue that was! Thousands of bikers all together on the Leguna Seca race course doing what they love.

The XC expert and semi-pro was on Sunday consisting of 2 laps (is 19/lap). We prerode it the day before and it seemed to take forever. Well race day came along it seemed we all blew up, especially me. Carson finished midpack, KC 6th and Chris towards the end. I was second to last!

About an hour into the race my quads cramped up so bad I had to get off and scream! I'm still trying to figure out why that happened. Anytime I began to push I could feel the cramping coming on. The worst part was when I had to get off a second time and a little old lady specatator yelled over to me "you should hydrate better and eat more potassium". Little did she know how close to death she had come that day.... OH, then my chain broke a few miles from the end. Not good. After all that it was a good experience.

Carson, yet again being stopped by bikers wanting to see the ARANTIX. It took at least three times longer to get anywhere with the bike since we kept having to stop and show it. (pics compliments of Chris H.)

Possibly the best part of the trip was stopping in Boulder City near Las Vegas and riding Bootleg Canyon. The whole canyon has been made into a Bike park! Here KC admires the "rock" I hopped over then realized it wasn't!


Does mud and dirt get packed into the tubing?

Some mud and rocks do get into the downtube but just as they got in they fall right out. The production bikes have a conical shaped cap at the bottom of the downtube which serves to funnel the debrie out even better. The heading picture on the main blog page is from our first ride in St. George where we were in some of the thickest and sickest mud I've seen. It didn't attract more mud than any other bike I've ridden. And it was out before the ride was over.

How does it ride?

It rides like most hardtails. The Isotruss is stiffer than I would have expected. The climbing with the Arantix is phenomenal! The head tube angle is rather sharp and therefore very tight and quick on turning. On the other hand for the same reason I have found it to be a bit more unstable up front and tended to wash out on me until I got used to it. No problem now.

Is it strong?

Boy is it strong! I have taken quite a few hard drops and several spills and endos and even after 600 miles of hard riding and racing it's integrity is not phased. I even have one of the small isotruss triangles broken on the down tube and the integrity of the frame is intact (about 200 miles riden with it broken).

Remember; the rate limiting component in cycling is the engine. Ride on.....