May 31, 2010

Tour de Topsfield (and Ipswich)

Just pictures. The air quality and the visibility were terrible as a result of the forest fires up North. Also, would anyone like to tell me how I can upload the pictures so that they can be clicked on and enlarged?

May 26, 2010

NECS #2 - Weeping Willow

I had been super pumped for this race long before it even existed. In the fall of last year, I rode with Ipswich (location of the venue) resident and Cannondale Factory Racer, Matt O'Keefe and some other fast locals. He hinted that a race might be held at the park, Willowdale State Forest this year. Willowdale has become pretty popular recently. It doesn't have anything very technical, but it has miles and miles of fantastic, flowy and sustainable trails that beg to be ridden fast. The route he took us on in the fall ended up being very similar to the race course. It is close to my house, about 25 minutes by car and 50 by bike. Unfortunately, I don't get to ride there as much as I'd like to, but I still felt like it was my "home course." Apparently, I wasn't the only one pumped up for the race. Bikereg showed 254 racers on the pre-reg list, which is huge. To put that in perspective, EFTA is the smaller of the two local mtb series in New England. A typical race may have 75 pre-registered and 254 showing up. Two other races were going on that day and there was a popular road race the day before. About 420 racers showed up. That is about 200 more than a typical EFTA race and 100 more than a Root 66 Race. The backup - backup parking lot even filled up.

The morning of didn't go as planned...I woke up an hour later than I had set my alarm clock for, leaving me with about 20 minutes to get ready. Once we got to the venue, our minivan got stuck in the mud. Luckily, us bicyclists are somewhat strong and some fellow racers helped us out.
The actual race went surprisingly well for whatever reason. Four of us toed the line, Ryan was there and so were two kids I had never seen before. I got the holeshot after a long fireroad sprint and stayed in front. I caught my nemesis, Ben Chase, who, now 18 is racing in the next group up and had started a few minutes before me. I have never bested him, he has always manged to put 15-30 seconds on me in the last 15 minutes of racing. We talked and rode together for 10 miles, then I pulled away...and finally crossed the finish line in front of him and all the other juniors. No crashing, no mechanicals, good weather (a bit warm, though), dry course, great vibe, etc, etc. It was great! I guess that extra hour of sleep payed off.My time ended up being right up there with the fast Experts. I ended up 14th out of 77 total Experts, but my time was only about two minutes slower than the majority of the people faster than me in an almost two hour race.


I saw a bunch of friends I hadn't seen for a while, and it was fun to catch up on things. I'm still waiting on race pictures. There were probably 10 cameras pointed at me each lap, but none of those people got pictures of me. So far, four races, four wins. I don't want to race with the Elites just yet, because they are still quite a bit faster than me and I don't have the time to dedicate myself to the volume of training needed not to get DFL. I'm still riding only about once a week, so I don't know why I'm not getting DFL in the Expert class.

Anyways, I can't wait until next year!

May 17, 2010

NECS #1 - Glocester Grind

School has been pretty crazy these last few weeks, and I still have another month to go before the insanity ends. Junior year is rough; AP tests, SATs, SAT IIs (click the link, I know you are just dying to), the ACT (had to throw that in too) and finals (link to my school?...nah) are all super stressful and aren't conducive to staying in shape. So, my regular riding and racing has been neglected a bit. This past week, I had a break from the madness and decided to catch up on some bike riding, and of course, racing. I did a road ride up to New Hampshire on Saturday, which amounted to about 4.5 hours of pedaling. I figured that having not ridden for a while, I would be slower at the race anyway, so by riding a bunch the day before, I could use that as an excuse for not doing so hot the next day. I didn't have to resort to that though, as I actually felt pretty energetic on Sunday. I headed down to Glocester, Rhode Island, not to be confused with Gloucester, MA (note the "u"). Both host bike races, the difference being that in Rhode Island, they don't feel the need for street signs, so getting lost en route is inevitable. Luckily I had already gone through that in 2008.



The course is in someone's backyard, which happens to be a giant swamp (ie: mud) with tricky rock gardens everywhere. In 2008, the mud was deep and you couldn't see the rocks. This year, you could see the rocks, but they were just as dangerous.



The parking lots were full.



Cool timing system that posted results immediately.



The race went well - no crashing and no mechanicals. I, as well as most people realized that running some of the rock gardens cyclocross style was the quickest method. I like the course, but I can see why some might not. It is relentless and it is not easy to get into a rhythm. I had fun, though. Ryan was the only other junior. I had said at the start line "let's not kill it at the start, let's ease into it" because of the rock gardens that cannot be blasted through safely. He agreed, but when he fell back on the first lap, I felt as though I had just told him "go slow so I can get a gap." That wasn't my intention, anyway. I rode the entire race with one of the female pros who told me from behind about some secret lines through the rock gardens. We had fun racing together. For whatever reason, I didn't feel too tired at the finish, while others were trying to hold down their breakfast. My time was decent, about mid-pack. Hopefully once I start riding
more regularly again (more than once a week!) I can get back into the faster Cat.1 times.
I got interviewed by Colt from Cyclingdirt.org. He is great to talk to and it is amazing how much bike racing has shaped his life. I learned that he missed 48 days of school one year for traveling to races across the country. He is on a seven year plan at Harvard, since he spends most semesters filming and riding.
Photo from Craig Mello.






May 13, 2010

Matching

I run when I don't have time to ride. My old shoes were falling apart, so I got some new Asics. They perfectly match my new Scott Team Issue MTB shoes. They have the same shade of yellow.

May 10, 2010

On the Rocks At French Creek



On the Rocks At French Creek
Elverson, PA
Saturday, May 08, 2010

A two lap (each lap 10 mile) race. same as last weekend’s MASS series race (@ the granogue estate) this race is the only time that bikes are allowed on the property. So I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to ride these sweet trails on the only day every year that it is legal to do so.

About half way through my first lap I get a flat tire and was passed by all riders in my category. Flat tires during races are pretty demotivating. But seeing as money goes 15 deep I knew I still stood a chance to rake in some cash so I resorted to plan B which was finish top 15.

I pulled it off, finishing 13th.

All results

Several others on the scott rc crew were there…

Scott Wilson finished 2nd in cat 1


Jay Dodge finished 1st in the maters cat 1

Cam Dodge was riding strong in the pro/open until he got a mechanical

-Mike Joos

May 05, 2010

Sponsor Highlight- Raw Revolution

 Nothing makes an athlete happier than knowing they're doing the best they can to take care of their body.  For the 2010 season, Scott RC is chowing down Raw Revolution Organic Live Food bars.  The best you could imagine.  The box says it all.  

 Taking in enough calories on long rides is tough.  Usually, by the time you've gotten enough, you feel like you'd rather take a nap than keep riding.  These things are packed with just under 300 calories per credit card size bar, which keeps me feeling like a champ and not like I'm carrying so much that my jersey feels like its hanging down to my knees. 

If your not into nuts either, don't worry.  Later this summer, Raw Rev is set to release three new, non-nut based bars. (Dates and cashews are the big ingredients in the regular guys)  I got a little sneak peak and got a chance to try them out a few weeks ago.  Personally, I'm looking forward to the Tropical Banana.  Check them out.

May 04, 2010

Wawayanda Spring Cleaning Race Report From John

Wawayanda Spring Cleaning
H2H Campmore Series
Hewitt, NJ

A short race report from John on his and Ross' difficult race in New Jersey this past weekend at the Campmore H2Race in Hewitt, NJ:

The race was too hot (90 plus degrees and humid), too long (3hrs) and too technical with rock gardens everywhere.

This race was just about survival.








My body almost suffered total shut down multiple times.

I got a good start -- 3rd wheel out of about 30+ racers -- but, then the heat and rocks took a toll on me and every other racer there.





Many riders DNF'ed, and I should have too, but I'm stupid and just rode super slow and ended up finishing 8th.

This was the most I have ever suffered in a race.

Ross and most other racers were smart -- he pulled off on his second lap.
Results are here.


- John

Last Set of Greenbrier Photos (I promise)

Some more great photos from Greenbrier, courtesy of Kevin Dillard of Demoncats Photography.

Still clean before hitting the muddy trails

Ross working his way towards the hole-shot on the opening fire-road climb

John gritting his teeth and digging in for another lap

Aaron in full flight

A great shot of Ross coming into the finish area

The Pro podium

More Greenbrier Photos

A number excellent action shots of the team at the April 25 Greenbrier race, thanks to Gary Ryan of TooFatToRace Photography.

Aaron making it look easy on his Spark RC


Ross flying down the main downhill on the course on his Scale 29er


John hammering the same downhill with his Scale 29er


Mike rolling over the rough terrain on his Scale 29er

Andrew Mein's Excellent Adventure at Granogue - Scott Wilson's Report

Granogue Estate, DE
May 2, 2010

This race has been on my schedule for awhile now. After having a bad series of events at Tour De Tykes and being the new guy representing the Scott RC Mountain Bike Team I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.

Not having been on the course before I wasn't sure what to expect. The course turned out to be super fun and fast with tight, twisty, rocky, rooty slightly wet singletrack and some punchy climbs. Nothing too bad in the extended let-it-all-hang-out climbs, but enough to keep you honest. Pressure aside it turned out to be a pretty good day.

The Scott Scale 29er I was riding was a smart choice turning babyhead rocks and off-camber roots into rollers. I am not sure what the headtube angle is on the bike, but it handles and turns quicker than any 26 inch full-suspension or hardtail I've ridden.

The bike performed well and so did I taking the win in the Cat 1 class.

Aaron rode for an uncontested win today and Mike rode to a strong 5th place. It was a hot day, but a good showing for the Scott guys.

Next up "On the Rocks" French Creek.

Stay Healthy,

Scott Wilson

May 02, 2010

Andrew Mein's Excellent Adventure at Granogue race





The course ended up being really fun… it was a pretty fast with some hilly sections and only a few rocky sections… Teammate Aaron Snyder took an easy victory (in the men pro open) today with no real challengers...


I came in 5th.

-Mike Joos