April 26, 2010

More Greenbrier Podium Pics and Knee Update

Photos from John.

John on the podium:

Aaron on the podium:

I was disappointed not to make this race as it's one of my favorites, but I needed some more time to let my gnarly knee injury resolve. It's been a very slow recovery process for me as I'm now more than a week post-crash. I spent 10 hours of hanging out on the floor on Sunday with my leg elevated. That dropped the swelling down from 5x normal size (on Friday) to 2-3x normal size today. I'm not able to walk without a big limp and there is still lots of bruising; my leg is pretty much black with bruises from the top of my leg to the bottom of my foot. Now, I'm waiting for it to change into a rainbow of colors as the bruises (hopefully) fade. Good times...

I just want to get out on my bike!

- Jeff

April 25, 2010

Greenbrier Challenge, xc Mountain Bike Race 2010

Greenbrier Challenge, Mountain Bike Race
April 25, 2010

The course was pretty wide and fast for the most part... w/ a decent amount of climbing

The team was all decked out this weekend with a tent and a van.

Team mate John Arias came in 3rd in the cat 1 race (despite some mechanical issues).

Teammate Aaron Snyder came in 2nd and I came in 6th in the pro elite (just off the podium)…

Next weekend I will be racing Andrew Mein's Excellent Adventure at Granogue... I'm pretty sure Arron, Jay and Cam will be there too representing Scott... maybe others.

-Mike Joos

April 24, 2010

Riding for Fun

I chose not to race today since I have been super busy and I haven't been able to ride as much as I would like to. It was a perfect day for a casual ride. I did my usual loop over to Harold Parker and Ward Reservation in Andover, MA.
Boston is back there somewhere.

Riding off road with one hand on the bar is not safe.

Pretty awesome drive train. XX and 9 speed - it works.

I guess I'll list the components for anyone who is curious.

Frame: 2010 Scott Scale 29er XL
Fork: 2010 Fox F29 RLC 100mm
Crank: Truvativ XX 175, 39/26
Pedals: Shimano XTR
Handlebar: FSA K-Force Carbon 660mm
Stem: Thomson X4 120mm, 10 degree
Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece 350mm
Headset: Stock Ritchey
Housing: Jagwire 4mm (yellow!)
Chain: Sram 991 (with not just one, but two quick links!)
Cassette: Shimano XT 11-32
Brakes: Shimano XT 160/140
Tires: Maxxis Aspen 2.1 (tubeless with Stans)
Wheels: Industry 9 hubs and spokes / Stans 355 rims
Saddle: Fizik Gobi XM
Front Derailleur: Shimano XTR
Rear Derailleur: Sram XO (medium cage)
Shifters: XO triggers
Grips: ESI chunky green


April 20, 2010

Winding Trails

I'll keep this short. On Sunday I raced in Farmington, CT for the second race of the Root 66 series. Last year it was 90 degrees and sunny, this year it was much more mild. The race didn't start perfectly. All of the juniors missed the start in some confusion. Once the race began, Ryan got into the singletrack first, but he let me by pretty quickly, and I proceeded to embarrass myself by crashing (...not really - I wasn't really staying on the trail, though) into trees and popping my foot out of the pedal hopping over a log. Eventually I began to ride well, by the end of the first lap I had a gap that grew for each of the three remaining laps.

My awesome 29er. I am no longer skeptical about big wheels. This bike rocks.

I ended up winning, which was a big surprise considering how poorly I was riding at the start. Also, during the race, the end of the front derailleur cable began to rub against my tire. It took me forever to figure out what it was, and once I did, I did not want to stop and waste time bending it. My time compared to all Cat.1's was actually pretty great and I got a decent amount of money for winning. It is great seeing more juniors racing Cat.1; hopefully it says something about the growth of our sport.
Tyler, me and Ryan.

Tour de Tykes 2010 xc mtn bike race

This past weekend I was racing the Tour de Tykes in Danville, PA … A 19 mile point to point race w/ more climbing than mount snow’s xc race! (4500 vertical feet of climbing) It was fun course but riders needed to be attentive the entire time… There was lots of situations where you are going fast down a decent and a sharp corner comes out of nowhere.

I flatted about 2/3rds through the race… i was riding 4-7th? I lost some spots and finished 15th… Cam Dodge (also racing the men’s pro open) scored an 11th place finish… Jay Dodge also representing the Scott RC team came in 3rd in the men’s maters cat 1.

-Mike Joos

April 18, 2010

Baker's Dozen 13 Hour Relay Race - 2010

Bakers Dozen 13 Hour Relay Race
Leesburg, VA
April 17, 2010

I headed out to Leesburg, VA yesterday (April 17th) for the Leesburg Bakers Dozen 13 hour relay race. The event is held on a cow farm whose owner built mountain bike trails that are specifically designed for endurance mtb racing and that are only open on race days and specified pre-ride days.

The race starts at 9 am with a mass start and ends at 10 pm. The farm owner sets up huge bonfires in the cow fields where racers congregate and at 10 pm, 120 pizzas start arriving at the race venue, Dogfish Head Ale distributes beer and a bluegrass band starts playing. In a word: awesome.

I was racing in the co-ed duo category with my long-time endurance racing teammate, Terri Spanogle, whose positive energy has kept us going in long distance races like this one. If you're looking for a teammate, it's best to find someone with a great attitude like Terri. We won this race last year (beating many of the two person male teams) and were looking to repeat our success.

Despite some concerns that it was going to be wet and muddy, Saturday turned out to be cold and dry. The trails were in perfect shape. I was psyched to get in my first race on my new Spark, especially since I had been fitted by Tom Coleman and Ronnie Dean of WobbleNaught (www.wobblenaught.com) - the bike fitting had given me an extra 10% gain in wattage as shown on my SRM and I was looking forward to my first race!

The course is a 6-7 mile loop that's about 90% singletrack, with some areas for passing in open fields. After a chaotic mass start of about 300 people (there were something like 150 solo racers in this event), I entered the first singletrack in 4th place and comfortably rode through the winding trails until the first field section when I set off from the rest of the pack and in chase of one guy who'd attacked out of the start. I caught 1st and rode with him for a bit and we sprinted for the first lap finish (there is a prize for the fastest lap of the day and that's usually the first lap). He pipped me on the line, but I started out for my second lap when many other teams were handing off their timing chips to their second riders. My and Terri's plan was to ride double laps for the start of the race until we got tired, then switch to single laps to keep us moving quickly.

About 5 minutes into the lap, I caught my pedal on a stump of a sapling on the side of the trail. It flipped me up and over my bike and onto the ground; my bike flipping up and over and landing on my head. I was stunned for a few minutes and while I was lying on the ground 4 guys passed me. I got up and rode through the rest of the lap in a daze, eventually finishing in 4th after the lap when I passed off the timing chip to Terri.

I realized after the lap that I'd damaged the rear shock in my fall and, after transferring my bike fit from my Spark, I borrowed a friend's 29er to carry me through the day. My left knee was also pretty banged up, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Terri turned in some fast laps and I was back on the course, passing people and having a great ride. I was able to turn in two fast laps before handing off to Terri. By this time, my knee had started to swell up and it was getting hard to walk. I iced it for a bit and took some ibuprofen.

By the time Terri had completed her two laps, my knee was about 3x its normal size, but I headed out for another two laps because I didn't want to let Terri down or quit. The first lap was a little slow as I was really sore and stiff, but the second lap was much faster. I was able to pedal, while seated, all the hills that had slowed me down last year. The new fit really helped my technique and I was feeling some big performance gains and I made up 7 minutes on the first place team and put another minute on them by the end of my two laps.

After I stopped to hand off the timing chip to Terri, I wasn't able to walk and my knee had swollen to 5x its normal size. The folks who were camping around me recommended that I go to the hospital. They thought I'd put an ice pack under my knee warmers, but in reality, it was just swelling. It was really gross. I wasn't able to even get out of my chair when Terri finished her second lap. She went out for a third lap and I wasn't any better.

The decision was to take me to the ER to get things looked at, but after consulting with family members who work in the ER, I decided to go home, put on a compression wrap, take a lot of ibuprofen, elevate my leg and get some rest and reassess on Sunday afternoon. I haven't yet seen other photos of the race (hopefully there will be some of me in my new Scott kit).

It was a sleepless night, trying to ice my leg (the swelling moved up into my quads) and being disappointed at quitting, but dropping out was probably the right decision. I hope to be back together and able to ride at 100% next weekend at Greenbrier!

- Jeff

Fair Hill (with photos)

As Mike said, a great first weekend for the team at the Mid-Atlantic Super Series race at Fair Hill in Maryland.

Aaron won the 42 person Elite category in a sprint finish.

Mike was not too far behind Aaron in the Elite field in 8th place.

Cam was 17th in a stacked Elite field.

John won his Expert category, finishing a few minutes up on second place in a field of 23 other guys.

Jay was 2nd in his Expert category in a close finish (1 second away) with the first placed rider.

A link to results: http://www.midatlantictiming.com/MAT/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94&Itemid=1

Many of the team are off to race at the next MASS race this weekend in Danville, PA at the Tour de Tykes.

- Jeff

April 11, 2010

Fair Hill

Fair Hill
April 11th 2010
Mid Atlantic Super series

I had long wait till the start of the race… I thought the race was at 10 so I showed up @ 8:30… But the race wasn’t till 12:30.... This gave me plenty of time to meditate and find my inner chi before the race.

The race was fast and windy… There were 30 riders (my guess) in my category (pro-open)… it was chaotic in the beginning… Tires were rubbing and riders were cutting each other off for position... But once that was over it was a fun race… It wasn’t too bumpy so you could really concentrate on leaning deep into corners and ripping through sections with no worries.

I came in 8th I think (that is what I was told by a woman @ the finish)and team mate Aaron Snyder won!!!

P.S. I forgot my camera but if I get my hands on any pics others took I will post them.

-Mike Joos

April 10, 2010

First Race of the Season - Hopbrook Dam - "I love bike racing"

I did the race for the first time last year and had a huge amount of fun, so I was thoroughly looking forward to today. So much nostalgia! The race this year did not disappoint. It was, in fact more fun than last year, since it was not 40 degrees and pouring rain.
The sky was blue and it was a perfect 60ish degrees.
Thanks to my co-workers at City Cycle I had a fork attached to my bike and a crank, too. It is just under 24lbs (XL) with a pretty nice build...when clean.Thanks to Greg at Back Bay Bicycles, I had a ride to the race.

I was pretty psyched to see four other juniors toeing the 12-18 Cat.1 line, since last year I was lucky to race against one other junior. So, the race started, and I got the holeshot fairly easily. After the first single track section I had a decent gap already. I rode at my own pace for the entire race and was fairly relaxed, until I realized that Ryan Packard was not too far back. He got pretty close several times, but I'd stay in front the entire race. On lap two of four, I took a rocky downhill a bit fast and took a bad line. Down I went - down a hill, over rocks. I had to climb back up. Amazingly, I hardly scratched myself and my bike was in pretty good shape. I was worried though, because I almost tore my rear derailleur cable, but all was well, and I continued on.
It seemed like the entire race I was passing people, and I was riding everything. The 29er definitely was working well for me today. I rode a pretty steep climb that many pro's didn't even attempt during the race. Everything just clicked. I rode well and didn't have any catastrophic bike failures. I had only about 2 hours on the bike before I raced it, but I really got used to it quickly. I could not believe how well it cornered - it was unreal! I was running Maxxis Aspens set up tubeless with Stans, and they hooked up great, despite being labeled as a dry tires. So, in the end I finished in a respectable 2 hours 30 seconds. Taking home the "w" feels good, especially when you have to work for it. Seamus Powell, only 19, killed it in the pro race, taking the win. The course was in awesome shape, the trails themselves weren't too muddy, but there were some big puddles on the fireroads.

It was great to see all the familiar faces at the race. I really love bike racing, it is just so much fun.

This road bike was pretty intense, the owner said he gets it down to 12lbs for the races!
The Scale 29er is pretty cool. I was very hesitant about 29ers, and after test riding several, I still couldn't make up my mind. After racing one, though, the advantages are obvious and the disadvantages are almost nonexistent. I was most worried about climbing, but I did not feel like the big wheels held me back at all (especially since they are 1650ish gram Stans 355s / Industry Nine Ultralights). The bike shined on flat meandering rock sections, it maintained momentum really well and just kept rolling. Cornering again, was weird, in a good way. I could tell I was getting great traction, but I was afraid of putting too much trust in the bike and over cooking it in a high speed corner. It was great though, and I think more people will continue to try big wheels.
Can't wait for next year! Winding Trails next weekend.