Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kenda - Felt MTB Team Update for July 2010

It's been a busy July the Kenda - Felt Mountain Bike Team. The month started with the Firecracker 50 which doubled as the US Marathon National Championships. Although we had high hopes for this event, luck was not on our side. Colin Cares, running in a podium spot suffered a catastrophic flat from the detritus on course ending his day. Andy Schultz also ended his day early with a header on the first lap causing him a slight concussion. Amanda Carey also struggled to find her rhythm ending her sting of wins on the marathon circuit. As we say, that's bike racing.

The following weekend the team headed to Colorado Springs for the final event on the ProXCT calendar. This was a 2 event weekend with both time trial and cross country events. Colin and Amanda took top 10's in the TT with Judy Freeman rounding out in 11th place. We'll note here that Judy hadn't been able to train all of June due to family emergencies (more on that later). The following day, Judy took the top 10 in the cross country with Amanda following close behind.

From there, the team headed to Granby, CO for the US National Cross Country Championships. Again, Judy put on a strong performance taking a top 10 in the cross country and following that up with a 6th place in the short track. On the men's side, Colin had one of his finest days since moving up to the senior ranks taking 7th place in the short track. Andy was close behind finishing the day in 11th place.

The last event for the month was the Teton Pass Hill Climbs, a combination event with back to back road and mountain climbs. Best cumulative time wins. Amanda Carey took on this challenge with delight, winning the event and setting new course records in the MTB portion and the overall.

August will be a busy month for the team. Andy, Colin and Judy are attending Crankworks this coming weekend, then heading to the Keystone Revival Mountain States Cup on August 7th. Amanda will be participating in the Leadville 100, Fools Gold 100 and the Shennandoah 100 on Labor Day. She is going for the overall win in the NUE series. With 2 wins already booked, she is on track to complete that task. Towards the end of August, Judy will be racing at the Windham World Cup where she hopes to ride as a member of the US National Team. Colin will take on the Breck Epic stage race.

We also want to pay our respects to Judy's family after the loss of her father in late May. Judy and her family were fortunate to be with him in his last days. We're reminded again of the importance of family and that the bikes will be there when the time is right to ride.

Until next time,

Kenda Felt MTB Team

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Colin's Race Report - Too much sleep?

I have the nap monster to blame for my lack of updates lately. Nap
monster, for those who don’t know, is what one turns into after an
alarm-less afternoon nap. This debilitating condition, characterized by
lethargy and grumpiness, is usually treated easily with sunshine and green
tea. On rare occasions, however, such as frequent hard training blocks
and races, it can last days, which is the state in which I’ve been finding
myself a lot lately. While I’m not very productive as a nap monster, I
figure it indicates that I’ve adequately extended myself in training and,
with rest, can expect to a boost in fitness. That’s the idea at least.

After the Teva games, I took advantage of two consecutive weekends off of
racing to do as many long climbing rides as I could handle in anticipation
of Marathon and XC Nationals. Sometimes I wonder whether I truly target
races, or whether races are just convenient justification to spend my days
exploring the mountains with a pocket full of bars and a good Pandora
station. Big dinners and early bedtimes cap off these gratifying training
days. Ah, the wild times of a bike racer.

While this type of training ostensibly set me up well for the Colorado
races, it didn’t leave me with the kind of rested, punchy legs necessary
to excel at a sea level, world-cup style race like the Wisconsin Pro XCT.
I managed a 17th in the XC and a 10th in the STXC, which, given the solid
international fields, was actually a big confidence booster going into the
slew of Colorado races, including the Firecracker 50 (aka US Marathon
National Championships).

The Firecracker 50 being a home race of sorts for me, I was admittedly
fired up to do well. Half way up the first long road climb, I knew I was
feeling good and settled into a conservative pace that I felt I could
maintain for the entirety of this VERY hard race. I was sitting
comfortably in 4th behind JHK, Sam Schultz, and roadie Pete Stetina (who
eventually crashed out) with mostly descending to go when I heard an
alarming THWAP, THWAP, THWAP sound coming from my rear triangle. I jumped
off my bike to discover an ancient looking 4-inch nail had pierced
straight through both my tire and rim. Running I adrenaline, I tore off
the tire and got a tube in before next-placed Dave Weins came by, only to
botch the change by snapping off the valve stem when I went to hit it with
a Big Air CO2. When it comes to fixing a flat, I guess there’s a fine
line between just enough and too much adrenaline. I vented most of my
frustration in the relative privacy of the woods and began the long walk
of shame back to the feed zone. I kept the nail, and I think I’ll use it
to hang a rabbit’s foot or a horseshoe or something, thereby nullifying
its bad karma and preventing it from every harming another Karma tire

After such a hard race, I’ve been voraciously consuming fruits and veggies
in addition to Hammer supplements to combat the dreaded nap monster and
recover in time for the Colorado Springs Pro XCT time trial this Friday.
It’ll be a hard three-day chunk of racing, but hopefully the perfect
primer for the XC National Championships in Granby, CO the following
weekend. I hear it’s a newly cut course, which hopefully means it won’t
intersect with any old mining roads where there are likely to be nails.