Pheeeww - schools out! Here's an update now that free time is a less precious commodity. 

 Unfortunately I worked pretty hard on all my final papers, so I resisted the urge (though it was a strong one) to throw them recklessly into the air. 

Unfortunately I worked pretty hard on all my final papers, so I resisted the urge (though it was a strong one) to throw them recklessly into the air. 

I started out the racing season this year with some time on the road - the collegiate USAFA race was a great way to bring my racing legs out of hibernation. Sagan's win in Flander's that morning gave me some inspiration, but unfortunately my own form had yet to come around. I covered attacks all day, and pedaled in on my own after the last half a lap off the back. But that's just how it goes. 

Next came a big block of training to top off the tank for some more pedal bike racing: Sea Otter, the FLC home Road Race, the Whiskey Off-Road, and the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. On some of my longer rides, I've started buying snickers bars at gas stations that reflect how I'm feeling at the point in the ride. I'm hoping to start a new trend. 

 About 4 hours in to a 5 hours mountain bike ride. 

About 4 hours in to a 5 hours mountain bike ride. 

All too soon it was time to fly out and meet the RideBiker team at the Infamous Ocean Beaver Classic! This is always a fantastic event, if not for the racing, but for everything else that comes along with it. It was a great opportunity to talk to all of our new sponsors, so meet and greet was the name of the game!

Since I'm already partnered with RaceFace, and RideBiker, another compound word starting with "R" only made sense for a wheel sponsor: RideFast Racing. This'll spark some controversy, but their wheels ride better than Enve's IMHO. Imma just leave that there. 

Also had a chance to check out the first ever electronic dropper post from Magura - with this and an "America" themed fanny-pack, I'll be super fast on the downhills, right Cody?

 Ayo Technology.

Ayo Technology.

Next came the FLC home road race in Durango. This is always a fun one with a fast and furious crit around downtown D-town, and a killer of a road race with a steep, sub 3-minute climb that shatters the field on every lap. My legs finally started to feel like their old selves, so I was able to put in some digs in the crit, and managed to finish out front of the chase group in the road race after missing my chance to make it into the break. That's just how it goes. 

 It's always fun to get out for some tactical road racing every now and again. My mountain biker mentality always ends up putting me out in the wind, though. Photo creds:  Connor Hodge

It's always fun to get out for some tactical road racing every now and again. My mountain biker mentality always ends up putting me out in the wind, though. Photo creds: Connor Hodge

Finals the next week did their best to break my spirits, but after a few long nights of studying they were finally behind me, and with relative success. It's crazy to think about how my collegiate career has flown by. Just one more mountain bike season with FLC Cycling and I'll be graduating this December. Uh-oh. 

Before I knew it, I was loaded up in the RideBiker-mobile on my way to the Epic Rides Whiskey Off-Road. As it always is, the Friday night Phat Tyre Crit was the hardest 20 min effort I'll do all year. After a decent start, I managed to sprint for some minor places out of the chase group. A pretty fair crit for me, all things considered. 

 Fans: amazing. Racing: FULL GAZ. Photo credz:  the No-Tubes Master

Fans: amazing. Racing: FULL GAZ. Photo credz: the No-Tubes Master

On Saturday before the main event, some pretty ugly weather kept the festivities subdued. Cole, Payson, Jeremiah and I went out to preride some of the new single track on course, and ended up caught in the rain. But all's well that end's well. Or something like that. 

 The weather didn't hold back. This is the desert, right? Photo: Mr. Oberman

The weather didn't hold back. This is the desert, right? Photo: Mr. Oberman

On Sunday the weather gave us a break, but the 50 mile course sure didn't! As per usual, the 3000 foot climb out of Skull Valley tried to tear my legs off, but I rode a consistent race, and can't be overly disappointed with the results. Riding slower than last year certainly wasn't the plan, but sometimes you just don't have the legs and have to give it your all regardless. That's something I've been experiencing a bit too often of late. But alas, my fitness is there, so results are sure to follow. 

 If mountain bike racing was easy, everyone would do it! Photo:  Les Stukenberg

If mountain bike racing was easy, everyone would do it! Photo: Les Stukenberg

Now it's back to D-town for some R and R (rest and recovery) before the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde! Team RideBiker will be represented with Payson, Emily, Kalan and myself throwing down down some serious #WATTS!  Stay tuned for some live race updates on Twitter

P.S. If you're feeling philanthropic, give some spare Benjamins to a worthy cause: World Bicycle Relief. It will make you feel good. Donate here.

P.P.S. If you're feeling philanthropic, but you also think my RideBiker Sugoi kit is really cool, you can buy one for yourself here. All the proceeds go to the World Bicycle Relief. It's a win-win.  

Comment