Sunday, September 23, 2012

Interbike 2012

Interbike, held annually in Vegas, is the largest gathering of bike industry products in the country.   2012 was my first year at the event.  Shannon has attended the past four years, however I have never been able to get away.  This year, I decided to make it happen.  It made for an incredibly busy week that went like this:  Work Monday, fly to Vegas Tuesday morning, attend Dirt Demo (where you can ride new bikes on actual trails) all day Tuesday, attend Interbike trade show at Sand's Expo Center all day Wednesday and Thursday.  Fly home Thursday evening.  Work Friday.


Running around Vegas doing all things bike with Shannon was totally worth it!

Here is a sampling of some interesting new bike products:

 Focus Raven carbon 29er is a sweet ride
 Stan's NoTubes has all wheel sizes covered including the increasingly popular 650b

 Speed Sleeve makes all sorts of light-weight straps to attach tubes, air, pumps, gels, etc to bike.  
You can even get them custom made with sponsors logo.  
 Okay.  This may only be interesting to me but I rode a bike with a Silverado at Dirt Demo.  
Super comfy, super light.  Perhaps the remedy for my year-long lingering saddle sores?  
 Vittoria makes a super stiff full carbon shoe.  
All shoe models come in 1/2 sizes, women specific, and different sizes for mismatched feet.  
 The Pivot 429 Carbon wins the most fun to ride on the Bootleg Canyon trails. 
 Rock ledges?  Big drops?  No problem!  It goes uphill fast too!
 I think I'm in love with the new SRAM 1x11 drivetrain.  
Crazy since I just converted to a 2x10 last month!
 Magura's front shock has a stowaway wrench in the front axle 
that fits all Magura shock and brake bolts.  Cool!

 The front end of the Look carbon hardtail gets the award for being the most funky.  
 DT Swiss carbon rear shock with lockout!
 Topeak/Ergon Olympian Irina Kalentieva's custom stem/handlebar.  
For a mere $15,000 you can shave 1/2 pound off your bike!  
 Sweetest new helmet: Kali.  
 The Kali helmet comes with a video camera/light mount.  
Perhaps even more importantly, there is enough space to slide a ponytail through the back buckle.
 FiveTen has a sweet lineup of BMX/dirt jumping/casual shoes.
 Barry Bonds stopped by the FiveTen booth and went home with a pair.

The FitWet gets the award for oddest product.  This exercise bike in a tub is reportedly a favorite lunchtime workout in Europe.  Perhaps the next big thing in the States?  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's a wrap

My 2012 mountain bike race season wrapped up this weekend with the USCS Draper 50 Fall Classic.  This was my 25th race of the year and although I say this after most races, I really think this was my favorite!  The Corner Canyon trail system used in the race is a short 25 minute drive from my home and  the course is the perfect combination of climbing, rippin' fast singletrack, and even a legitimate downhill flow trail.  Super fast. Super fun.  Additionally, my race was uncharacteristically exciting as three of us went back and forth the entire first lap of the two lap course.

Here's a quick summary of the position swapping:

Disclaimer:  There is a reason I typically don't write detailed race reports.  I get so focused on my race that I usually don't notice what is going on around me.  Here's my best effort.  Hopefully it is accurate:)

 Off the start Kathy and KC charged to the front.  I felt like I could hang, but my bike decided to start shifting poorly and I spent more time trying to get it in the right gear and dinking around with my cable adjuster than hammering.  We rode up the first climb together to the Aqueduct trail where I think I was on Kathy's wheel.  I know I went into the hike-a-bike section behind Kathy because I remember being annoyed that she was running.  Seriously, running?!?  Couldn't we just all agree to walk this section?  Somehow I managed to stay close and was able to pass her on the dirt road to Gas Line.  I led up lower Ghost Falls to Canyon Hollow and down the first part of Anne's to the feed.
Descending Anne's trail into the feedzone

 My pit stop was uncharacteristically long as we threw my bike on a bike stand and resolved the shifting issues.  Kathy was pulling into the feed just as I was heading out.  As I started to climb Anne's, Meghan came up behind me and encouraged me to go faster.  I did and was able to get a small gap on the final descent of Anne's.  I fumbled a bit once we hit the Shoreline and Kathy caught me just before the tunnel.  I contemplated letting her by, but I seemed to get small gaps on the short climbs so I held my position.  After we crossed the road, Kathy attacked and took the lead.  I was able to reel her in pretty quickly and stay glued to her wheel as we started ascending Clark's.  Meghan caught us on the climb and overtook the lead.  I followed and although I couldn't stay glued to her wheel I stayed close enough that I was able to pass her on Rush downhill.  I went through the start finish in the lead, with both Meghan and Kathy in sight.  On the second lap, Meghan caught me on the hike-a-bike section and was able to drop me riding into the super stiff headwind on the dirt road leading to Gas Line.  I was starting to cramp a bit despite having electrolytes in all of my bottles.  I made it to the feed zone where I got electrolyte tablets and was told Meghan had a minute and a half gap.  The tablets helped the cramps, but then my rear wheel started making a weird noise that had me a bit worried.  I stopped to investigate, but couldn't find anything wrong so I continued on my way.  (Upon closer inspection I found my rear derailer cable was rubbing my spokes making the loud and annoying clicking noise).   I didn't let up; not only was I chasing Meghan, but I knew there were a lot of fast girls behind me who can come on strong at the end of a long race.

Hammering the finish loop
Photo: Cotton Sox Photography

 I crossed the line tired and satisfied in second at 4.5 hours.

Draper Podium:  Kathy Sherwin, me, Meghan Sheridan, KC Holley, Erin Swenson

So not exactly a quick summary, but like I said there was a lot of excitement in our race!

I felt great and even though I was drilling it as hard as I could, I was having so much fun I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.  I especially appreciated all the cheers from the fantastic volunteers.  Another awesome Utah State Championship Series race!

Now, back to the 25 races this year thing.  What a year it has been!  Last year at this time my hair was just starting to fill in and I was recovering from my final reconstructive surgery.  I know I have said this before, but what a difference a year can make.  and I have appreciated every second of it!

The Draper 50 was my last mountain bike race of the season, but that doesn't mean the racing stops.  Up next....cross.  And I have this sweet new ride...