Monday, August 4, 2008

American Mountain Classic Almost Here

It's been a busy week, so it's good to finally get back to the really important things in life, like blogging.

Teton Village Icup:
Headed up Friday morning with the whole family. Somehow when you have young kids, 5.5 hr drives are easily extended to 8.5 hr drives. I was able to preride on Friday night and quickly realized that the Teton race may be the best course (in terms of a fun place to ride) the series. We really are spoiled by the Icup series, with N different courses that could easily qualify as the "best." I mean, look at this lineup: Green Valley (St. George), Draper, Sundance, Deer Valley, Solitude, Sherwood Hills (Logan), Teton Village, all of which are great places to ride. Not to mention that Ed is the coolest promoter around. Did I ever mention that last year, I had pre-reg'd for 10 races. When my son was born 6 weeks early last June followed by a month in the hospital, Ed basically gave me credit for all my unused races which I was able to apply to this season - no questions asked (other than how my son was doing). This type of coolness has become expected for those of us who race the Icup series, but try pulling this off with some other race promoters and you'll probably be disappointed.

Saturday morning, I lined up and for whatever reason I just didn't feel like racing. I went out a bit slow and unmotivated. Eventually the motivation came around, and I felt like I had a good second lap. I felt like I stayed strong during the 3rd lap, but did slow down a bit. I had some good battles with a few guys, and I think I won more of the battles than I lost. I ended up in 7th place out of about 15 racers.

When I prerode, I predicted a lot of crashes and flats, and I was right on both accounts. I saw a lot of people struggling on the technical sections, and noticed that I could certainly work on motoring through the techy stuff rather than dancing through it. If you want to know what your weakness is, race this course next year, because it has a bit of everything. For me, my main downfall was the flatter bumpy sections, where I lost some time. I gained it back on some of the climbs, but the one thing the course didn't have was sustained climbing.

We spent Saturday through Monday checking out the Tetons and Yellowstone. Everyone loved this vacation, which just happened to coordinate perfectly with the Teton race, so hopefully this becomes a new family tradition.

American Mountain Classic:
The AMC stage race is less than 3 weeks away. It's not too late to register (in fact, I think you can show up on the first day of the race and sign up), and there are still plenty of reasons to do so. First, the promoter just threw in a $50 "gas incentive" rebate, so the price for the race is now only $350. A steal for what you get, as documented in my previous post. And although this is old news, the E-100 race series was canceled, so if you were planning on getting your epic on at the E-100, you'd better come down south instead for the most "epidemic" mtb race in the states. And while you are there, you might just leave with the new mountain bike that is being auctioned off. Of course, these reasons are all secondary to the fact that you'll be missing my birthday party if you don't come.

While a lot of my friends are taking it easy this weekend in preparation for Leadville, I was able to pull off an AMC dress rehearsal today. I call it the "Big Odd-Day Sucker" ride, which consists of going up Mill D North to Desolation Lake, Wasatch Crest, down the Connector Trail, Mid Mountain, up to Scott's pass, back on Wasatch Crest to Desolation, and back down Mill D North. I had some extra time, so I played around in Park City before heading back to the Crest. I rode some great P.C. trails for the first time - Steps, Keystone, Apex, and Shadow Lake Loop. Of course, the "Big Even-Day Sucker" uses the upper Mill Creek Trails rather than Mill D North. However, the descent down Mill D to end the ride is good enough that it's probably worth doing on even days - especially the upper section of Mill D which is about as good as it gets.

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