Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nationals and much much more

Well this past weekend was Nationals. It was in Colorado, Sol Vista ski area to be exact. If you don't know our elevation was roughly 9000 feet. That is why we went out 2 weeks ahead of time to acclimate. Though nationals was the entire point of the trip it was probably the smallest part. Our trip started the day before The Long Pine classic, the whole team plus a lot of other people showed up at Brett and Donna's to eat some good food and shoot off some fire works. It was a fun time and the fireworks were sketchy! That night we stayed at Zach's house to then help set up the next morning for Long Pine. Everything went super smooth, the course was awesome, the venue was perfect, and there was tons of good competition. With roughly 3000 feet of climbing, it was brutal. From the "neutral" start I was in the front group, it wasn't very neutral though. The start was one big fire road climb and we were flying up it. I was probably top 20 into the single track with Forest, Jacob, and Julian still in sight. I could still see them for most of the first single track. I lost sight for a while but when we opened up on a fire road I could see Jacob, which meant everyone else was close. I was able to get my roadie on and draft for most of it then zipping around them right before the single track. Now it was one big descent back down to another fire road. I now had to look up at the first big climb it was loooong. I haven't had to climb something like that in a while. I felt awesome up it. The next big climb was just as bad as the first. Though slightly shorter it was much steeper, I could only ride up about half of it. It was pretty uneventful till I saw Julian finishing up his flat. I really turned it on on the downhill, but Julian was catching up. We spilled out on a fire road and I was on Julian's Wheel. We had one last climb, and Julian road right by the entrance, talk about luck. With Julian most likely still behind me I hammered up the hill and could see Jacob. He was close but I didn't have enough time to get him. I think the podium was the best part of Long Pine. Champagne, the winner got to spray champagne, it was so cool until you got it in you eyes! I didn't know it burned that bad.

After a cook out and some more fireworks it was time to go to bed and get ready for our marathon trip out to Colorado. We were supposed to leave only an hour earlier then everyone else. But it ended up being 2 hours and they didn't catch up until about 24 hours later. Lucky for us we were in the crafter, everyone else was crammed in the Subie. It honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, we were very lucky compared to the Subaru. We had Iphones, computers with 3G, DVD players, and a small sleeping hole in the back.

We got to see Saint Louis and the Arch since we were ahead of schedule.

31 hours later we were at the house and ready to go for our first ride.

Day 1: We unloaded, went for a ride around the house, felt the altitude, spun home and made dinner.

The next morning I stepped out into the garage to find out it was freezing. Probably 40-50 degrees. I also found Tom pretty much rebuilding Forests bike.

On Thursday we went to Boulder, we went through rocky mountain national park. We hiked up a trail to get up on top we were at 12000 feet, about 2.3 miles up. It was cold and windy.

Once we got to boulder we still didn't know where we were going to ride, so we stopped at a bike shop to get some advice. We ended up riding a Heils ranch I think it was called it was really cool, but completely different terrain. The plan was to sleep over at Yannicks house (a super fast junior). But we ended up not having enough cars for everyone to sleep over so that plan failed. We still ate dinner and hung out with Yannick. After some good pizza at Protos we went down to Pearl Street Mall, an awesome outdoor mall. Jeff, Gunnar and I got some wool panchos that are awesome, from this hippy shop, the guy at the register looked a little scary! After eating some delicious cake that Yannicks mom made we came home.

We just chilled out until Saturday which was race day #1, Winter Park point to point. It looked like it was going to be a tough course with a long climb at the start. It was pretty eventful when Tom and Forrest had some miss-communication and all Forrest had was a half full warm-up bottle. So Forrest had to start about 10-15 seconds later then everyone else. I really chilled out on the start since it was my first race at altitude. I felt pretty good I was in the second group and was able to get past a few other kids before the single track. After the first downhill it was a long downhill, unfortunately there were a few slow people and I got a little held up, oh well. After about half way through I started to turn it on. As I did I could see I was gaining on Jacob every minute. So after a long fire road climb I was right on his wheel. He tried to attack but I just stayed with him. After a few minutes I launched my own attack before we went into a single track climb. I was able to drop him and gain even more time on the downhill. It was nice to descend behind a super fast local! There was a climb after the descent and I was still feeling good so I attacked that to make sure Jacob didn't catch up. Now all that was left was some sweet downhill and a lot of flat. I ended up 2nd with some local kid 30 seconds ahead. I was happy!

After a rest and recovery day we went back to Winterpark to hang out and find something to do. We ended up doing the alpine slide, it was really fun! Luckily we did it when we did because it started to rain when we were at the top. After that we just hung out and then went to get some pizza in the town of Winterpark.
We made another attempt to stay at Yannicks house and this time it worked. When we got there we went out for a casual 3 hour ride around Boulder. Boulder is sweet! We saw the indoor velodrome, it was a lot smaller then the Trexlertown one but the walls were really really steep. almost vertical. We saw the dirt jumps which were cool also, there were so many different lines, most of the jumps weren't mandatory at all. Yannick said they have stxc races and cyclocross races there, they must be awesome. Forrest almost ate it, it was pretty scary. After some chipotle and checking out Colorado University we went back to Yannicks house. We just chilled out ate an amazing dinner and went to bed. The next day we went out for a legitimate ride. Yannick took us to a long steady climb so we could do our 1 minute efforts. It was right after one of the biggest and best breakfasts I have ever had, almost all pastries and meat, needless to say I felt it. Once we finished our efforts we spun back to the park by Yannicks house. It had a creek in it, people were tubing and swimming. Thats when we saw the rope swing, Yannick said it was definitely deep enough so we decided to do it. Jeff went first and it worked perfectly. Next went Forrest then went me, the water felt sooo good, it was really cool, we did it once or twice then rode back to the house. We changed and packed up, after getting some izzi (fruit soda stuff that is really good) we said goodbye to the eckmanns.

Now all we had to do was rest and wait for nats. I was pretty nervous the day before but I settled down. We got there right as Aarons race was happening, he ended up 7th!! Forrest and I warmed up on the trainers and then road around a little more on the road. Tom got us an awesome starting spot, 2nd row! Which is good when you have a 50+ field. On the start, which was a hard climb, I really just chilled out and stayed on the rear of the group. I was able to be about top 20 into the first single track. Then I dropped my chain on the climb and couldn't get it back on so I had to dismount and put it back on, I lost about 5 spots doing that. So now I just hung with the people in front of me. When we prerode we ended up riding the wrong loop since the promoter decided to change it like 2 days before the race. So I didn't know how much climbing we would be doing I just had to ride, which I was fine with. I felt awesome on the first lap apparently 18th or 19th at the top of the climb. But unfortunately I was really feeling it on the second lap. I really cracked and had to dismount once. I was on the wheel of some kid at the top and for most of the downhill, even until about 2 minutes from the finish, but luckily like many other people in the class he couldn't descend. I was able to drop him and ended up 24th.

The venue was awesome, I can't say the same for the course:(

The top with an awesome view!!

This was taken at pretty much the end of the weekend, everything on the course probably had a layer of dirt.

The stxc course wasn't the best either, it did have this cool wood thing though.

Jeff ended up third!!!

Zach also did awesome, he got pushed into the tape at the start and was dead last. He was gaining on second but dropped his chain, I think he could of got him, but he still ended up 3rd. Yeah Zach!!

JB's flash 17 lbs I think, not production which will be 16.4 for a medium frame.
It was really cool believe me.
Jake also picked up Adam Craigs Bottle

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Well nats is tommorow, I excited, and nervous. This is my first nationals and there are 50 people in my class. I am pretty much banking on the normal Jr. start and having them bonk half way through. Oh yah I got second last weekend at winter park point to point, I felt good. I didn't bonk and altitude wasn't bad. Here we go.........

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Register For

The Long Pine Classic!!!!!!!!

The one lap course is going to be awesome. It's michaux what do you expect.