Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hour of Power

Being Hyper-Allergic and an Asthmatic, July is a bad month for me. My ailments have long dictated my summer activities, especially racing. Even in the best of times, I usually take July off from racing, sometimes into August. In someways it has a positive, I would try to crush it mtb racing spring thru July, then cut back, building base for the cross season.

Last season and most of this one thus far have been anything but the norm. Colin and moving to Germany has turned riding and racing on its head. But Sandi & I still find time to ride, and even get out for some hard efforts now and then. Sandi has been more and more getting back into racing, while I had a couple early season events with little success.

This weekend we decided to really try to give some gas, and jumped into the SAAR-PfalzCup series finals in Freisen. Having done a little homework on the event, the Flickr photos I came across revealed what looked to be a pretty fun course. And after pre-riding it, it did not disappoint.

Sandi was up first, lining up with some overly-testosterone charged U18 riders who were buzzing photographers and unsuspecting spectators prior to the start. Smartly, Sandi hung back from the NASCAR-esque start that nearly ended ina NASCAR-esque pile up in turn 1. After the dust had settled, Sandi was off the front, and quickly rode away from the competition. Her gap was so big by the end, she lapped most of the field and even did a lap more the second place.

After she received her cobblestone implanted with a chainring on it (she has already won one of these - must be a Euro thing...), it was my turn to go. After warming up I was already experiencing breathing issues, and had to take some Albudteral. I know people think this helps in racing, but it can easily backfire as well, pushing heartrates way up even at rest. I try at all costs not to use my inhaler, but I wasn't going anywhere without it this time.

Dropping in

Second row starting position in a field of over 50, I had the right spot to start out smart, and see where things were. I let the front row go off the gun, and tucked in somewhere around 10th, but after the parade lap, knew I could and needed to move up. Thus far, i have been less than impressed with the handling skills of the riders I have raced against, as was the case on Saturday. The field stacked up on the first ribbon of single track riddle with roots and rocks. I was chomping at the bit to move forward, but waited for the nest section of road. Springing forward through the field, I found my competition for the rest of the race around 4th, 5th and 6th place. The 4th place guy eventually slipped aways forward and the 7th place guy we dropped. So it was the two of us for the rest of the race.

One of the many sections of singletrack around Freisen

Just shy of 3km, this was a cyclocross course for mountain bikes. I was big ringing it for 90% of the course. Shallow double track climbs, with tight techy singletrack, steep drops and climbs, and a sweet strat/finish area jump I was pulling cross-ups off of to the delights of some young spectators. My main competition for the race would pull on the power sections where I held the edge on the techy sections and steeper descents and climbs.

I threw my chances for 5th place with three to go when I rode away from him on one of the power climbs, I figured his tank was empty. Problem was I made an overdraft in the bank of pain and craped something fierce with two-to-go, ouch! He came back around me, and that was it. i consolidated my losses, recovered a little and brought in home in 6th. It was a good race for me knowing where I am riding wise right now, not a result I would expect. Plus I also received a cobblestone trophy - SWEET! Most of all, I had a blast racing and the course was definitely worth it it, tons of fun.

Next up, single speeding at the 12hrs of Sis...

Monday, July 21, 2008


Here is some stoke for those of you need a push (or just some good bike porn even if you do not). Katie is killing it again. A short track title to add to her closet full of stars&stripes from cross. Her mtb is nothing short of a crossbike with a sloping toptube and flat bars. pretty cool.

Aka. "Rad Ross" stuck it to the Left-Coasters at the Downieville Classic. Long time friend. I can tell you Ross can win on anything. He has more talent than i have seen in a rider, poor luck and a sometimes wandering focus has kept him from dominating the sport.

Sandi did her first mtb marathon, the Erbeskopf Marathon. She was 3rd in the girls and 100th overall, not bad for someone who had a kid a little less than a year ago and doesn't train nearly what she used to.

Mikey sent me some love in the form of handroasted beans from Telluride. I don't care what the Germans say, their coffee sucks. I just have to figure out how to get a steady flow coming in from the states.

With all of this stoke going on, I want to ride, ride fast. Do you feel it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Short Track

2008 Short Track Series - RACE 2 from Scott Barker on Vimeo.

Chris D passed along this link to Portland Short Track Series, good times. Everyone loves good elbow-to-elbow racing. Sweet series in the NW, and I know the guys in Boulder have a couple to choose from. Hmmm, ironicall two of the biggest hotbeds for cyclocross in the US...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

'Za Plan

In preparing for the upcoming EuroBike, we are working on some very schweet rides. Don't want to reveal too much here, but here is a glimps:

Deluxe 29er

Can't give you details on the 29er yet, but it will surely garner much attention as will another 'project' bike that will eventually be in the loving hands of one said Phaty.

The rest of our quiver will be pimped out for the show, along with a couple owner bikes. I have been working on our booth, simple but stylish - think IKEA... D2 shoes, Paul Components and JumpStop are joining the companies we represent. We have a strong core of companies and lok forward to a busy show!


Normally I don't play the 'chain game', you know when you get a chain email, or if you are old enough to remember, a chain letter... Most of those letters talked about 'not breaking the chain' and its consequences. Holly 'tagged' me, and since I enjoyed reading her's, love the game of tag, and this is not so much a chain letter, I decided to play along.

First up are 6 things about me:

1- I already mentioned I love the game of tag, actually I like a lot of kid games, and love playing with kids. Playing with my son Colin is so much fun, it is very rewarding to share things with him and it brings back fond memories of my childhood.

2- I don't like sharing food, this pertains to handfood and plates when I go out to eat, and this drives Sandi nuts. I refuse to let her take a bite of my food, I want to try it, you should have ordered/ made it for yourself (besides, I always order the better meal when we go out).

3- I wish I were a vegetarian. To me it seems like the right thing to do, and I even have some great dishes (I love a big bowl of salad), but I can't help myself when it comes to grilling a good steak, organic grass fed of course...

4- I like Starbucks. It pisses me off because their coffee sucks and they rarely use a nice machine, but they have some of the nicest coffee shops and I like hanging out in them. It sucks.

5- No body is a better driver than I. Race cars, minvans, rentals, you name and I can drive the wheels off it. My Dad raced cars and he shared a lot with me on driving, as did his racing buddy. Many Sunday drives in Triumphs, MG's and my favorite, Porsche 356 roadster, I now how to push a car to it's outlimits and have a great 'feel' for this. I hold the unofficial rally record Carbondale to Crested Butte, Colorado over Kebler Pass in my '85 GTI. I feel this translates well to my mountain bike riding, and I even sometimes see myself in a WRC car when riping down singletrack.

6- I don't like to spend money on myself, but love to buy gifts for others. I can wear the same clothes for years, and don't like to buy anything new until my old clothes have worn out.

TAG! Your it: colin, Keller, Jenny, WunnSpeed, Dylan, Phaty

Here are the rules:

link to the person who tagged you.
post the rules on your blog.
write six random things about yourself.
tag six people at the end of your post.
let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
let the tagger know when your entry is up.