I realize that it has been a blaring amount of times between blogs in the past two months. I wish I could say that it’s because I haven’t been riding, or that my life hasn’t been that
interesting to warrant a post. But those would both be lies as much has changed; I promise that at least half of my days off have been filled with interesting tales, nothing like running into a mountain lion (hard to do on a trainer) or holding Jens Voigt’s bike but things.
Most of January I spent riding Hall Ranch, my cross bike or the trainer. Boulder hosted cross nationals, which was an amazing
|Sully getting interviewed…it’s like he’s famous!|
showcase of talent and ability. Sully’s riders all did really well, one even making it to Worlds. After that things slowed down for him and he was able to participate in more rides with me. We’ve mostly been riding Hall Ranch. The trail is great because it has a rock garden and is a good way to work on technical skills. I was mentioning to Sully that I really like riding it because it’s like no other ride we do, it’s 10-15 seconds of power to climb over rocks which is hard to mimic anywhere else. It has been nice
having some repetition, taking steps to develop my skills or master areas I’ve struggled with (I know hard to imagine). I think Sully is always concerned that he’s coaching me too much but I always appreciate him being willing to talk lines and approaches with me or telling me when I need to shift my weight.
There is one section that I constantly struggle with, going up I’ve never cleared it and coming down I’m probably at 50% when I don’t psych myself out. Going up the approach is taking a line onto a rock slab which puts
|Foot out, flat out.|
you slightly off kilter, the rock shortly ends leaving a gap before the boulder you have to power up and over (not that big but definitely a solid 5’6″, no pun intended! haha). My approach isn’t awful and I can usually stay on the line that I want but never seem to get enough speed or confidence to get all the way up the rock. My front wheel will get on and then I’ll bail, if that doesn’t happen I usually just run into it and stop, and try again. Sully and I joke about the definition of insanity on this section.
Coming down that same section is where I have actually seen process. I started with having to stop at the top, pick my line, ride, stop, rework the line, stop, start over again, approach the drop, realize I’ve lost too much speed or don’t have the right approach and walk down. The problem is there is really only one or two lines to take and the one I take filters you into having rocks on either side, so if you even slightly get off route, game over. I can now seamlessly tie the last segment into this segment but the
|I know you’re dazzled.|
drop is still a little sketchy. The first time we rode it I stuffed my fork and went over the bars. Sully watched the whole things and suggested my fork be in a different setting. I tried his suggestion the next time and as I’m working my approach to descend I see Sully slightly out of the way below the drop, crouched with his arms out ready to catch me. I successively made the drop which was good because then he wasn’t forced to have to pick between catching me or the bike.
Like I said other than Hall, it has mostly been the trainer or my singlespeed cross bike. I actually don’t mind the trainer but I’m not exactly convinced that I get that great of a work out from it though as I find that time goes by most quickly if I’m reading a book. At least it’s something. With the first race I’m doing in about 8 weeks everything helps at this point. I’m quiet over the snow.
|Working my legs and my noggin!|
January was also filled with new things, as I switched jobs and moved houses. The new job is at a different shop in Boulder but seems closer to a style similar to Landry’s Bicycles (where I worked in college, and loved). My new house is great, it has a dishwasher, wood stove, and yoga room. Not to mention plenty of room for my bikes and a really nice energy through it. How Boulder was that last sentence?