Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bodie Hills Mountain Bike

Last weekend I headed up to Mono City to join my good friend J. Tabb for a mountain bike ride up into the Bodie Hills. We started from his back porch and proceeded through sandy sagebrush lined roads toward the hills. Thankfully the recent rain had firmed up the roads and trails quite nicely.

The soft exit from the dirt road onto the highway however was a bit tricky.
Once we left the lowlands we entered the Pinon forest and found excellent packed dirt roads. The views opened up too.

This is Dunderberg Peak doing an excellent Big Volcano imitation.
Somehow a little hike-a-bike seems to add to the sense of adventure - and the burning sensation in my calves!

Here's JT tackling one of the steeper sections.
We topped out on a knoll JT dubbed Hawkeye Hill.
Where the views exploded in every direction. Wow! The Mono Basin never ceases to stun my sense of aesthetics.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Owens Valley Cyclocross #2

Last Sunday we held our second Owens Valley Cyclocross race out at the Wye Road Course under a beautiful sky and in balmy temps.

Here we are at the start line preparing to suffer. B. Cashore, on the far right, was planning to gun it from the get go, while I'm just grinning like a fool for the camera (other yellow jersey).
And gun it he did! Myself, Simon, B. Ossofsky and B. Kuhl chased, but none of us wanted to drive it real hard with the other three drafting behind, so the gap slowly grew. Finally Simon put in a real hard dig and we closed the gap just in time to enter the first technical section.

Here we are on the first lap chasing Cashore who has already left the picture.

We all came together again at the beginning of the second lap. I decided I wanted to get to the front for the technical sections to avoid any mishaps, however I soon mishapped myself and fell to the back of the group. Here I am leading the group moments before eating dust.
By the fourth lap we all seperated with Simon going out of sight, Ossofsky grinding it out in second, Cashore chasing valiantly, and myself slowly unwinding.

Here's Ossofsky stomping the pedals and the competition (except Simon).
B. Nelson mixed it up nicely under that stunning sky.
The last two laps were torture with my back seizing , my hamstrings knotting up, and waves of nauseau testing my will to finish, but finish I did!

Here I am shortly after finishing still very much residing in the pain room.
But after a few minutes and a barley pop or two I was feeling human again.

The post race weanie roast was huge fun, complete with tales of cycling history, loveable dogs, great beer, ideal weather, grand scenery, roasted weanies (of course!) and, best of all, a wonderful group of friends.

Thanks to all who raced, to those who helped out, and especially to Mary for taking all these pics! See yah next time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

10-10-2009 Kirkwood Cross

My cohort, Simon Vickers, and I journeyed north to Kirkwood Ski Area for some alpine cyclocross racing this weekend. We enjoyed ideal weather, a whacky yet fun course, and the comraderie of a bunch of fellow 'cross heads.

I raced in the 35+ Men's B group which proved to be the largest field and I also raced with the Men's B Open, Singlespeed Open, and Women's A groups.

After an entertaining "LeMans" style start, the course took us up a steep climb which sorted things out pretty quickly. I was feeling pretty good, riding conservatively with the altitude and all, battling in the top dozen or so until the third lap when I blew a curb hop and pinch flatted the rear - ugh. For a moment I stood around thinking my day was done, then a lightbulb lit in my thick head, hey man run to the truck and fix it!

Simon helped me out with the tube change and got me rolling quickly and I was still on the lead lap. After the initial shock of getting back to race speed, I felt real good, passed a bunch of people, and generally had a good ol' time. I ended up something like ninth out of fourteen starters in my group, and despite my mishap, super happy.

After my race I regrouped to cheer on Simon in the "main event" and take some pics.

Changing room, pit, and sleeping quarters.
Bikes awaiting riders before the start.
And they're off!
Simon blitzed the first hill and instantly got a nice gap. A mountainbiker who looked a lot like Danielo DeLuca chased hard the whole race. Here he is getting ready to remount after the stair runup.
And at the bottom of the stair run down - yes a rundown, which was a bit shaky in cycling shoes.

Simon's lead hovered at around twenty second until about three laps to go when he upped the pace and pushed it out to nearly fifty seconds.

Simon trashing the field!
Ripping through "The Village" section.
Jim Jentens (sp?), the founder of Giro Helmets, put in a strong showing, and was one of the many super friendly folks I met.
Simon rolling to victory - note that he's riding a single speed too!
There was tons of free swag, including beer, after the race. I really enjoyed hanging out and yakking with all sorts of 'cross characters. Good times!

Special thanks and congrats to Mr. Vickers for motivating and slaying.
Cross is on!