Thunder Poster

Thunder Poster

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mangy 4th of July - Whitefish, Pontoon Boats, Trail

MT Cross is headed to the Whitefish for a mangy 4th. Full Report on Monday.

I've got big expectations. We've got a pontoon boat, fun island, keg, and no where to stay. How could it go wrong? Along for the ride with be MT Cross riders Downtown Joel Brown, Doug Dale, Pipo, Horangatang, and Baby Matty (this just in, Baby Matty is not coming). Hopefully we can get some photos and commentary from the guys. We're going to hook up with Whitefish's finest on Friday and Saturday morning for the biggest mangy group ride in the history of mangy group riding. Were talking Halpin, Connely, Muhlfeld, Kiester, all those dudes. If you want to join meet us at Dale's house at 8:30am tomorrow. Sorry for the lack of creativity but it's almost vacation time, and the mind is shutting off.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Deer Valley NMBS - MT Cross Field Reporter - Joe Chalmers


























Deer Valley NMBS – Cross Country/Short Track Cross Country


A cloud of dust….that is what the start of the Semi pro cross country race must have looked like when the gun went off and 52 racers began sprinting uphill to try and hit the first section of single track in good position. John Curry weaved his way up the field like a Salmon from a mid pack start position and hit the single track close to the top ten. The first third of this challenging course was where most of the climbing took place and Curry was able to work his way well up into the top ten after six minutes of tough single and double track climbing. The long twisting descent left no room for passing and there must have been fifty switchbacks on this course. Combine that with 1400 feet of climbing per lap (3 total laps) and you were feeling it! On lap two Curry had solidified himself into the top five and was matching his pace from lap one. What was I doing during lap two? Racing my bike mostly but I also managed to head off trail twice on the long first descent. Trail departure one wasn’t too bad…missed a corner and had to climb back onto the trail. Trail departure two was a high speed, miss the corner, and flip over the bars into the brush type of thing. No damage done other than a train of nine guys that came flying by as I was climbing back up onto the trail. In the end John Curry had the power going full tilt and finished 3rd. What a ride by Flurry.

The highlight on day one for the Montana crew was watching the pro men duke it out. Not only did they have to do four laps, but in comparison to our early 8 a.m. start time where we had shade on a majority of the course, the pros got absolutely no love from the shade gods. It was hot! Missoula native Andy Schultz had the ride of his life and dropped the hammer on the climbs and little brother Sam and made his way up to finish an impressive 4th at the finish and his first podium. He got an unexpected face full of champagne from winner Ryan Trebon as a “welcome to the podium kid” gesture.

Short Track xc
They call short track ‘like nascar on steroids’ and I suppose there is some truth to that description. I just think it hurts A LOT! This 25 minute outing was pretty climb heavy for a short track and once again John Curry turned himself inside out during the race and climbed onto the podium again with a second place finish. After some mechanical trouble in the cross country race Alex Lussier made his presence felt by cracking the top ten!

The pro races were just plain fast! Every racer looked like they were just about to call it quits by the looks on their faces….except Geoff Kabush. He is one of those riders that never shows the pain with his body language. This humble Canadian is headed for battle in China for Olympic glory in about a month but he dodged some serious bullets from an on form Ryan Trebon in the final laps of the pro men’s race and unleashed one final attack on the last climb to take the W. Missoula boy Sam Schultz took a solid 6th. Missoula resident Zephanie Blassi rode a strong race in the tough woman’s pro field to battle for a top ten finish and her teammate and former long time Bozeman resident Heather Holmes came back from a tough start for a great 6th place.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Cross Races in a Weekend/Motebecane Outcast 29er

I posted a poll about Montana cross races and double weekends. It was to close to really make any decisions. In some cities (Whitefish, Missoula, Bozeman) I like having two races a weekend but in other cities I just like one. Mostly for selfish reasons....I don't have a place to crash for the weekend in the other MT cities. Seriously though, I think it might be good to try a hybrid season. Some cities can have double weekends and others can just put one race on. We already sort of do this. It would be fun in Missoula to have a Sunday late start race somewhere downtown. That way it gives folks a little time to sleep and rest after Rolling Thunder.

My friend Brian W. has been staying with me for the past couple days. He rides a lot of trail in the Northwest. His rig of choice is the Giant XTC. I used to ride that bike but exchanged it for the less serious cheapy Motebecane Outcast 29er. I think I bought it because of peer pressure. Everyone I ride with has a single speed 29er and I was tired of being the only 26er bra out there. Riding with Brian he's giving me a new perspective. While I love the Outcast, it has killed my pedal stroke for any kind of road season, since it's cheap there are more repairs then initially expected, and it's not quick on tight twisty single track. I've never second guessed the decision to buy it, but I've started to the last couple days. Maybe I do need a geared bike, or even a 26er? The Giant XTC was nice for races......

Today I'm coming to a realization about my Motebecane Outcast 29er purchase. It was a lot about peer pressure, but it also represented something deeper. I trained hard for mountain bike racing a couple years ago. My goal was Collegiate Nationals at Angel Fire, NM. I was super regimented about training, diet, and overall race preparation. It was the most serious I have ever gotten about bicycle racing. Leading up to Nationals I had raced a crap ton to try and get my expert upgrade. I finally got it and had a huge wave of confidence going into Angel Fire. In the first event, the short track I was the second person to be kicked out within 2 laps of the race. Months of preparation and I was out in 5 minutes. In the cross country I finished somewhere in the 40's back with some of the flatlanders who couldn't breath cause of the elevation. I even got some comments like "don't you have high mountains in Montana.....you should be good at this stuff." My disappointment was overwelmed by the team finishing second, bringing home 3 individual titles, and everyone else having career performances. It was to much for me to handle. I came home and sold my Giant XTC, and vowed to never take mountain bike racing seriously ever again. When everyone started riding trail again I bought the Motebecane. It was cheap, and there was no pressure to perform because you were on a single speed. I think single speeds are fast, but unless your the Lelonge (sp) or Dale it's hard to be competitive. I've done two races on the single speed and they were fun. However, maybe it's time to drop the past and buy a real mountain bike.

Everyone gets down about certain bad performances, but you can't let it ruin something you love. The amatuear level should be about riding hard, having fun and pushing your self to the limit.

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