Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Winning is nice

After 3 years of trying I finally won my first WORS race 2 weeks ago. Making it even sweeter is the fact that it came at my favorite course at Lowes Creek County Park in Eau Claire, WI. Chippewa Off Road Biking Association (CORBA) puts on a great event every year. This year was no different with the return of the all-you-can eat dinner and breakfast, free kids playland and of course the prerace movie. This years choice was Leadville: Race Across the Sky, which was a nice change of pace from the usual adrenaline downhill/freeride movies of the past few years. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those movies, but it's nice to see an interesting movie about the XC discipline.

This is what I learned from this race experience: It's better to be in front. In years past, I had to breathe the dusty air of the riders in front of me and settle for their pace in the technical terrain. Not so at this race. I had clear air and smooth sailing after out sprinting the field to the singletrack. In years past I was content to let the race unfold in front of me. Not this year. This time, I went out with the intent of leading the race and making everyone chase me. It paid off with a 1st place overall finish. It nice to see hard work and perseverance pay off.

This past weekend me and couple Patrollers went up to Levis Mound to patrol the Levis/Trow 100. Levis is one of my favorite places to ride in the state so patrolling this race was a no-brainer To watch some of the racers ride 100 miles of that trail is insane. We had a hard enough time just riding 2 laps and we're no slouches. But the good news is no one got hurt while riding the technical terrain and no one got dehydrated pushing themselves too hard. Way to go racers!!!

On the way home we stopped to ride at Blue Mound which is my favorite trail in the state. By far the most technical riding in Wisconsin, it challenges your riding skill as well as endurance. On a trail this gnarly flat tires are common place so I wasn't surprised to see Ryan flat in the first mile of riding. Then a few miles later Ernie got a flat and at mile 9 is was my turn. It's good to know Blue Mound is equal opportunity that way. It doesn't play favorites with riders running tubes or tubeless setups. Flats all around. Other than that it was some of the toughest and most fun riding I've had the privilege to conquer.

In Airborne news, Airborne Bicycles is sending the flight crew new bikes. I can't wait to get mine. I chose the Zeppelin Elite as my 2nd bike and I'm excited to put miles on it as it stands to get much more use than the Taka here in Wisconsin (not that I don't enjoy riding the Taka. Opportunities are just a bit limited in this region). There will be lots of pictures and video to share of the Zeppelin Elite in action. It should be here in a few weeks.

The Alterra Coffee Bean Classic is coming up this weekend and I hope the weather stays dry between now and then. If it does the course will be great; if not the race will give way to a slow speed affair where the biggest challenge will be staying upright. Not worth destroying a chain in my opinion but we'll see.