Thursday, May 21, 2009

Riding Behind the Wheel

Tell me I'm not alone here. Every time I drive to a ride, I spend the first five minutes or so after the ride riding behind the wheel. On my way home, I'll find myself doing things like:

1) Using all brakes or all gas. Sorta like how my dad drives all the time.
2) Trying to maintain speed around turns.
3) Leaning into turns. This helps a lot to be successful with #2.
4) Squeezing between obstacles in the road (e.g., cars).
5) Ignoring those annoying painted lines in the road and picking the best line instead.
6) I've even found myself pulling up on the wheel and lifting up on the pedals to absorb a bump. Again, another huge help.
7) Three lane drifts around switchbacks (corners).

Okay, so maybe not that last one. About 5 minutes into the drive, I realize I should stop riding and start driving. It's a good thing I don't have to drive to many rides anymore, because I'm about 10 times more likely to get a ticket during the first 5 minutes after a ride than any other time. Or even worse, my superpower may be used against me one of these days.

So that about sums up my drive home from the Draper race course today. As far as the race course goes, I'll start by saying that I loved the old Draper course. I even loved the street crossings, which added to the character of the race. Most of all, I'll miss BBQ alley.

So how 'bout the new course?

Well, it rocks. A few have voiced some concerns about it, but after riding it, I think it will still rank as one of the best and most fun courses in the ICUP. It's tough to beat the Clark's climb. The Ghost Falls DH is amazing. I did it once last year and remember it being bumpy and non-flowy. Now it is buff, banked and buttery. "The Wall" will give you one last chance to pass. The steps section and the stretch right above the steps bridge is a fun little techy section where you are guaranteed to either gain or lose seconds. Yeah, passing will be an issue, but what else is new?

I wish I could ride Ghost Falls 10 more times before Monday. There are turns that you can take faster than you would think, and there are others near the bottom that are easy to over cook. Home court advantage could be big for all you Draper-ites.

Have I mentioned how great the ICUP is recently? Nearly every course is amazing.

And whatever you do, please use caution while riding behind the wheel...


UtRider said...

You were flying down Ghost Falls! It was good to see you and everybody else who was out riding tonight.

KanyonKris said...

Do you also find yourself scrutinizing the road for tiny imperfections in the surface and minuscule bits of debris and steer your tires away from them?

That course is a blast to ride, but I'm also in the camp that think it will be less fun to race. But then I think lots of courses aren't good for racing. I hate to say it, but Five Mile Pass is the best ICup course for racing, even thought it is butt ugly.

Kyle said...

I totally tried to bunny hop my car over a HUGE pothole the other night. My wife was asleep and it woke her up. "Uhh...Sorry babe, I tried to bunny hop that..."

Aaron said...

Mark, it was good to see you out on the trail, and hopefully I'll see you there on Monday morning.

Kris, I could see being worried about the bits of debris after a road ride, but I can't remember the last time I drove to a road ride. Instead, I usually try and hit all the little bumps and sometimes the debris to see how my legs, suspension, and 29 inch wheels smooth out the trail, er, road. I'm thinking about lowering the tire pressure in my car tires since I'm running them tubeless. That would be funny to see you pointing out your window to to warn the cars behind you about debris though.

I beg to differ about 5 mile. To me, I like racing on courses I'd ride in absence of a race. I like having to work for my placement in a mountain bike race, and finding tactical places to pass. I would rank 5 mile at or near the bottom of the list.

Kyle - I've found that the suspension in cars makes bunny hopping nearly impossible. Consider going fully rigid. I bet your wife wouldn't mind. Okay, that sounded weird.

Watcher said...

Yes I do the same thing. It's the worst right after a road race. I always feel stupid and embarrassed when I realize I'm doing it...