Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Goat Man Cometh

2011 race season is knocking on the door and I'm getting pretty amped. Which is pretty dope since I haven't been amped proper for a race season in a few years. I think it's a combination of a fresh scene, fresh scenery, new people and an excuse to keep racing sport class.

I am really relishing in the happenstance that has become my racing as of recent. It seems that living up high and riding only marginally is much better training for the 3/4 level than living down low and training hard. Breathing easy and never being out of contention of a top 10 when competing with all of the Phoenix crew has been great so I am very stoked to start racing seriously this season...err as seriously as Slater gets.

For those out of the loop the Fisher is long gone. It was my most loyal companion the last 4 years and served me very well. It proved that it could rail corners and blow freewheels with aplomb, it saw too many hard miles for any bike with such little maintenance given to it yet still refused to crack a downtube like the rest of her production run sisters.

AA at Big Poppi ordered me up a XTC 29er 1 to race on this season and I am beyond excited. The XT/SLX 30spd group will be beyond the nicest component group I have ever bought and the Fox fork felt beastly the last few times I have demoed one so I have very high hopes that this bike will blow me away and show me that piloting one of the first production design 29ers is not an ideal way to operate in 2011.

Murdered out

Back to the race season. Apparently the big race scene starts here in January in PHX and the series just continues down there til it gets hot and then snakes it's way back up into the mountains chasing the cooler temps til the summertime. So that's pretty cool, something like 11 races total. I've been laying down hard road miles since I ordered the Giant in an attempt to come back into form enough to justify this bike and a race entry fee.

It's working pretty well though. I went and rode mountain bikes for the first time in a month last weekend, it was mid 70s and sunny and everything went great. I borrowed Johnny G's old Cannondale hardtail for the ride. It was a sketchy bike down there to say the least. The front shock was blown, I haven't been on a little wheeled race bike since 2006 and I felt like I was falling over the front wheel the entire time. I rode with all of the local shop rats, a few of my fellow backcountry outfitters and the local big shot tri-coach and... I didn't get dropped, didn't hurt too bad, and was right there at the front on the pavement group sprint back to the cars (I have no idea what we were sprinting for but it was still fun to mix it up).

1996 called, it wants it's sketchy excuse for a mountain bike back

Everyone else was either on a 29er with a 100mm fork or a 5" fs beast, I looked very out of place on this bike trying to bomb sketch desert downhills with these guys. But I lived to tell the tale, rode some gnar brah super secret "locals only" trail and got to watch 12ish guys absolutely shred in the desert.

So here's to the race season, the desert, sketchy riding and borrowed bikes.

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