My first Dream bike was that Salsa Mamasita two niner.
Why was this bike so spectacular?
The Scandium mixed with the Carbon seat stays really made for an extremely comfortable bike.
Now I am riding "Beast Mode", which is an awesome ride. Sure its Aluminum(poor mans titanium), but Specialized has done a fantastic job of dialing in the geometry on their 29Er's and the thing hammers and climbs and descends, just exactly what I need it to do.
BUT, its currently not as comfortable as My Mamasita was. Even though were probably talking about a total of 24 inches of Carbon from one bike to the other I have initiated operation "make it more compliant". At work I have been slowly making a list of the carbon bits that I want to swap out on my bike. I found a huge special on an S works carbon stem, A Lil longer, which is good for my wobble naught fit, and a little lower, again good for my fit.
Slapped it on my bike Wednesday. I also want to get the Carbon version of my bars for my bike and the FSA mini Carbon aero bars and either a Carbon Seat post or a moots Titanium seat post. Even considering putting on a Carbon fork for my next Tour Divide attempt, all in the realm of possibility.
So let's do the math. The 24 inches of carbon that I am missing can easily be made up by replacing all these items.
BUT, you know how things go, this is an experiment and I may be wrong, LOL.
Friday at Work a customer came in that's new to mountain biking and a regular. RaFa really wants to do a ride with me. He does not know who I am, meaning, the blog, or the accomplishments or lack there of, or the Singletrack Samurai Productions thing, but he still wanted to ride.
I had planned a ride with Mike Rittenhouse, a Lil resistance training, since he has been putting in the pavement miles in prep for the CFiTT and now wants to incorporate the dirt. He also told me about his "hill workout" so I decided to take him on the Hilliest West Volusia Mix ride available.
BUT, my life is not ever so simple. If anything, the new job leaves me more time to have fun and be social and I have been taking full advantage of that. So this weekend was booked solid.
Still I invited Mike and RaFa to ride early in the a.m. The early a.m.
Here is what the schedule looked like:
Saturday, 7am ride, then back to the house to clean, prep for race, prep for Kai's birthday, visit my mother and brother and nephews and then off to my girlfriends mother's house to Celebrate Sarina's Twentieth Birthday. Phew.
The ride started late.
RaFa showed up behind schedule.
And as we made pace on pavement and Dirt, we hit the hilliest section of the route, and they both were pleasantly surprised with lumped throats as to just how hilly Deltona Florida is.
To me, its not so hilly any longer, but the new position on the bike, even though were talking just degrees and millimeters, but it was requiring me to engage slightly different muscles then I was used too, by rides end, I was a Lil sore.
The rest of the day as busy as it was went smooth and I ended my evening trying to go to bed early to make my way to Trevor Busby's house early in the a.m. 630am to be exact, Sunday was going to be my first Lap race in a long time. I told Trev I was available to help if needed, and I was called upon when a team mate backed out at the last minute.
Lately I have been going through some physical transitions as I mentioned in my last post and although I was excited to be with the team, riding as fast as I can for 10 miles at a time is not what I am used to doing. I am used to riding hard with a 70% to 80% effort over 100 or more miles. This kind of racing requires you to go hard at 80% to 90% effort over a short distance, something I have not done in about 3 years.
Regardless, it was nice to joke and hang out with my team and make new friends and see people I have not seen in awhile. Being a part of the MTB community for 11 years, you end up knowing a lot of people and the list gets longer every year.
My new Team Mate Aaron was up first. And he put in the best work he could considering he has never had to sprint and jump on a bike before. Then Trevor who's on the road to recovery, turned out an amazing first lap, and then there was me.
I took off standing, pushing and pulling the pedals, amazed by how much that first grassy climb sucked. Amazed by how Sandy and worn in the corners were. Exposed roots, I seem to remember San Felasco being so pristine, not the case at the moment. I was having to taper back and be cautious in the corners to avoid over shooting or crashing. As it stands I am still trying to learn the side knobs of my renegades and didn't want to lose time on a crash.
Eventually I hit a grassy straight and I see a gone riding arrow and a brown sign that said turtle something and instead of going straight it somehow caused confusion in my brain and I went about 1000 feet or so up a trail to discover I had made a wrong turn.
"Awesome I thought" , upset I made my way back on course and started seeing riders on course. Slowly I made a game of stalking and passing and attacking, all the while thinking that I was going way too hard and my stomach was in my throat. But still, on I pushed, up and over, attacking the flats and the climbs trying to keep my effort under control. Eventually, as I overtook my last rider in the final mile, I was overtaken just a second before the line and I overhear Dave Burger say over the PA system that Orange Cycle and Bikeworks Orlando were locked in a battle?
I did my hand off and the race continued.
I tried to eat sensibly and supplement sensibly as I waited my turn. All the while hoping it would rain to pack down the dusty loose conditions. But it never happened.
My turn came again and I watched as team 590 took off ahead and the same guy who passed me before lap ones end was stuck waiting on the line.
Before we finished the Grassy first energy sucking climb I ate 590 alive.
My plan was to run, run, run. I knew 579 was faster than me and my only hope was to go as fast as I could and hope I could make the lap before being caught.
There I was, really leaning the corners. Really letting go of the brakes, being a Lil less cautious now that I had time to memorize the course.
Then right around 3 miles from laps end, the wind from my sails failed. I was struggling, trying to keep my momentum, but eventually, 590 caught me, then 579 came around and I just did the best I could and made the line to hand off to my team mate. Feeling drained, but happy to be done and off he went.
Luckily my effort to still keep going even though I was bonking and their effort to push fast we closed the gaps and passed 579 and 590.
I stood on the line, after recovering, ready to take the baton one more time for a 9th team lap, and Trevor B who rode a blazing lap, missed it by a minute.
At least we got them back. You have no idea how much I was beating myself up in my head while the bonk was going on. I was echoing in my head, feeling awful how I let my team down. I still didn't stop, I still stood up to climb and I rode till I fell down on the ground after handing off the baton.
The rest of the day was spent congratulating my other team mates who managed a beastly 5th place and other riders I had met that day who had outstanding rides.
It was fun, eating, and laughing and talking to the people that I have met knew and known for so long.
The NaKeD InDiaN