Fine I have been one! No blog update in too long. My excuse is a good one though, as I just have been really busy at work and it's been impossible to find the time to write these reports (I am a pretty slow writer and I have to read things ten times to catch all the freaking errors I am leaving on these pages. I know, and even then there are plenty left..). Too bad to, as I really wanted to write about my experience riding up the Tourmalet. I know at one point I had some really good thoughts about the experience I wanted to get on paper, but they are of course gone. So all I have to say about it at this time, is that is was just fantastic and am looking forward to do it again....and again....and again. L'Etape du Tour is on my to do list as well.
As for the race reports, well there have been a few since last report: Mt Snow, Hodges Dam, Norcross Scury, Millstone Grind, and Windham, NY. I went through a series of mechanical/dnf issues. First there was Domnarski Farm in June, where I snapped my chain on the second lap and had to run/walk the rest of the course to finish DFL. Then there was Mt Snow....dnf, then Hodges...dnf, then Norcross...triple flat...there is a pattern here!!
MT SNOW: DNF!!!! It seems I am starting all these reports w/ excuses as to why I suck, or actually, don't suck and why it's not really at all my fault! I keep on finding them, so it's working for me. In this instance, I had gotten off the plane from a continent that had a six hours time difference two days before the race. My excuse hence being Jetlag (made worse by a terrible night sleep the night before the race). The course too for Mt Snow this year was especially brutal. It had some long sections of really steep climbing on grass and loose fire roads w/ no brakes or relief. I knew after the first lap that this was not going to be a good race for me at all. I was able hang w/ the pack through the first climb but as we started to climb the long steep section where the "drummer guy" used to be in the hayday of mt snow, I was already starting to really hurt. Not even done w/ the first lap and I was already dying! Even after reaching the top and thinking the fun part was about the start, riding this "fun" technical part ended up not being so as I was just all over the course, or actually all over everything besides the course. I was so slow people were passing me. I pride myself in being able to pass people on the downhill sections dammit! Too much air pressure in new tires I told myself. Indeed riding slick roots and rocks on 40psi does not help. On the second lap, letting out a 1/3 of the air did help in that section, but the climbing to get to it just killed me. So much so I was ready to pull over, lay on side of the course in the fetus position, and never move again. When I eventually got back to the start area, I pulled myself out of the race. I gave up! The thought of having to do that climb one more time was making me want to sell my beloved mountain bike on the spot and call it quits forever! Often racing hurts, but it's a pain you push through. At this race though, I could just not do it. This was the first race EVER I have dnf ed due to not being able to hack it. I still feel a little pang of shame to this day. Cause of Jetlag of course!!!
In hind sight, I think another contributing factor was spending too much time on my road bike and no time on my mtb bike for the weeks leading up to Mt. Snow. Two days after this race, I did a team road ride on a somewhat hilly course, and I killed all the climbs. Weird!