Friday, August 3, 2007

The Bishop Pad

Between Vermont and North Carolina we stayed with Jeremiah and Erin for a few days. They gave us such awesome hospitality!

There was barbequing:

And tandem riding:
(That was a first for both Erin and I)

They took us on some fun trails. Apparently this trail is rideable:
I guess it is if you're JB, one of the best technical riders in the country!

Lyle found the perfect glasses to go with his styling new bag:

But most importantly, we learned of Jeremiah's secret between-race training routine. Some may seriously doubt my integrity in leaking this information into the public eye, but it's too priceless to keep it under wraps: So that's how he builds up his fast-twitch muscle fibers! I believe coaches all over the world will start prescribing bunny chasing to their athletes the second I hit "publish" on this blog entry. We'll see, but this may revolutionize the world of cycling training. Especially since he used this exact technique just days prior to winning the Sugar Mountain National Mountain Bike Race!!! (Way to go, Jeremiah!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Naked Crit

I'd heard about the "Naked Crit" from Lyle before but it's hard to really believe it until you see it. Well, I witnessed it and can vouch for the fact that people actually get naked and race thier bikes that way. They don't even seem to mind that they have an uncomfortable bike seat up their crotch. Who knows, maybe it's more comfortable that way. I didn't test the method out so I really can't say.

I had to moderate and edit the pictures so as not to embarrass/incriminate too many people. However, there was a pretty good turn out. Maybe about 15 entrants.

Most of the girls there were from the Velo Bella team. Thier team manager was there and told me I should come to the dark side. Hmmm...

It was an after-dark, unofficial, unabashed race around a gravel parking lot. And I can only assume there was confidence-boosting assistance in the way of alchohol. But there was prize money! Maybe that's the way to go. We don't have crap in the way of prize money in CA races. (Meaning exactly zero.) So I guess there's definitely something to be said for bootleg races. I don't know exactly how much but it looks like quite a wad in the "referee's" hand.
The "Wieeener":

If anyone objects to their picture being posted, let me know and I'll delete it. But it's hard to believe anyone would care since they all specifically opted to strip down and ride around in front of a crowd of at least 100 people, with lots of cameras flashing and car headlights blazing.

Shuper Duper Shimano Reps

National Championships race report continued...

The next day we all went to tool around on some short and sweet little non-muddy trails:

Then guru Mary and assistant guru John showed us some yoga moves:
But the next morning was my first ever short track race. I still had a non-functional deraileur, so bright and early I headed over to the Shimano tent. First he tried adjusting it. No go. It was bottoming out on the frame. So then he was going to put a shim in to move the whole mechanism away from the frame just to get it rideable for my rapidly approaching race. In pulling off the cranks, he discovered a totally rusted-in bottom bracket. He tried with all his might to get it out. Then there were 2 mechanics trying to wrench it out. Finally all three of them were at it. (Quite a scene!) Then the Fox Shocks guy came by with a torch just in case. Instead of the bottom bracket crying mercy and giving up the fight, it went ahead and broke the wrench they were using! We realized that if it came out, it certainly shouldn't be put back in again, so I went off in search of a new bottom bracket and deraileur. I came back empty-handed just to find out they had prevailed over the bottom bracket by standing/jumping on the wrench. But now we had nothing to put back on the bike and my race was in 1/2 hour. It must've been my lucky day because the Shimano mechanic went and dug around in his truck and came out with a brand new bottom bracket and a set of XT cranks--much better than what I'd had on there. And they wouldn't let me pay, they just hooked me up! So I was finally on my bike with 10 minutes to warm up before the race.

The race itself should've been an embarassment but I actually had fun (during the 4 minutes I lasted). I managed to do 2 laps and then was pulled. I didn't mind because the catagory was Open Women (all the non-pros) so I was mostly racing against Experts. All us Sports and Beginners were creamed and pulled instantly. Oh well, still fun.

After the race I loaded up the Shimano guys with cookies and coffee, the only sort of payment they would accept.

Lyle was killing himself in his short track race but a lot of the other guys just had more power. He got 13th and stayed in for 20 minutes before the pull. He did way better than me!

Lyle and his coach:

Watching the pro races was awesome. It seems there is so much more integrity in mountain biking than road biking. I don't even want to think about the disgrace being brought to cycling by those roadies and all their doping and cheating. Check out the statement JHK is making on his socks:
Then I saw similar socks on Jeff Kabush the following weekend. You guys rock for that! The only way to keep the sport clean is by internal peer pressure, so thanks!