Monday, February 27, 2012

What's in store for 2012?

2012 is looking like its going to be another exciting year for me.  After two solid months of base miles, I can feel my endurance really building.  I started working out at Trailhead Athletics this year and my all-around strength and balance have already improved drastically as a result.  It will be exciting to see how this translates to racing.

Another new thing for me this year is that I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Steve Noble of Noble Sports Chiropractic is a long-time friend and supporter of local racers.  I'm really excited to finally start working with Steve and see how much more speed we can unlock.

My race season officially kicks off this weekend with the Echo Red 2 Red mountain bike race in Echo, Oregon.  For most of the remainder of winter and spring, I'll race a mix of local road and mtb events, including hopefully the majority of the NW Epic Series and new Fat Tire Revolution Series.  Ski to Sea (aka "The Bellingham Olympics") will of course be on my agenda again.

In the summer months, I plan to travel to some bigger events including Nationals in Sun Valley, at least two Pro XCT (national series) races and also Downieville.  I have my eye on the growing genre of super-d/enduro dh.  The races are super fun and cater to the all-around rider which I think is really cool.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Double Century and Quadruple Bypass

The last two weekends have been filled with back to back exciting long rides.  First up was the "double century" weekend.  Some of the Hagens Berman Elite Team members came up from Seattle to Bham for a mini training camp (can you blame them for wanting to ride on some nice roads?).  Saturday we hammered out 85 miles on Mosquito Lake Rd, Chuckanut, and some other classics.  Sunday was the real event, however.  110 miles of relentless tempo and attacks were enough to give us an average speed of 20.4mph.  Definitely one of the hardest road rides I've ever done.

After all the road miles, I was anxious to get out on my mountain bike.  This last Saturday, Lars Sternberg from Transition Bikes invited me to ride a so-called "quadruple bypass" route (the "triple bypass" is a notoriously challenging mtb ride in the Chuckanuts outside of Bellingham).  The plan was to ride up and over Galbraith, Lookout, Blanchard, and Chuckanut mountains consecutively...

Galbraith Summit.  Bellingham below us.

Descending Lookout.  Lake Samish and Blanchard Mtn in the distance.

Brad making a sketchy line look easy while riding a hardtail, no less.  (No way in hell was I riding this!) 

Top of Alternate Incline on Blanchard.  This trail might be my future "xc project" to ride clean. 

Looking out at Chuckanut Mtn and the San Juan Islands from Blanchard Mtn. 

 More San Juan Islands from Blanchard.  Oyster Dome is the knob in the lower left.

Galbraith (left) and Lookout (right) in the distance.  We were there hours earlier! 

 Chuckanut Mtn, our fourth and final peak, in the distance.

Fireball on Raptor Ride (Last high-point of our ride).

 We survived!  That was one unforgettable Bellingham ride.