Blown Week 3

Well, I guess totally blown wouldn’t be fully correct, although it did turn out to be a light week.

Tuesday and Thursday were planned interval rides. This time Over/Under intervals on the road bike. I managed to ride these and felt great doing it. Training going according to plan.

Between Tuesday and Thursday I only had about 2.5 hours in for the week. The coming weekend was going to be light due to having family in town, but I had hopes to be able to somehow pull off a miracle somewhere and get some good time in.

Well, that didn’t really materialize, but I was able to squeeze in a short afternoon ride on Superbowl Sunday.

So I had dropped Betty off at the shop last week to have a tune up and make over. I also dropped my front derailleur and went with a 1×10 setup. After much deliberation I decided to go with a 32 tooth front chain ring to go with the 11-36 cog cassette in the back. I finished out the upgrade with an MRP chainguide.

My one short ride on Sunday was my first shot a riding the new setup and I must say that it went well! I can see where this setup wouldn’t be ideal for a lot of road miles, but I sure don’t want to be putting in a ton of road miles on Betty anyway, so all’s good.

32T x 11-36

32T x 11-36

According to this tool, with 32T-11×36, at 80RPM cadence, I will be running about 20mph. I tested that on my ride on Sunday and found it to be spot on. I only spun out when going downhill on a major paved road. I’ll take it!

Of course, the real test will come this Sunday when I hit the dirt for the first race of the season!

In addition to getting the 1×10 setup and tune up, I also replaced my rear brake pads, and the bike shop recommended I replace my bottom bracket which had been creaking for a while.

Other than that, I have put in some fresh Stan’s, and other than a wash and lube, I’ll be ready to go for Sunday!

I have to admit that I am very anxious about the first race. I have gone back and forth on wondering what the race will be like and what my strategy should be.

My biggest concern are the 2 big climbs of the race. The first is right off the bat and is a solid climb. After 250ft gain in a mile and a half, the trail is some good flowy stuff. I need to have 2 things happen on that initial climb. I need to not blow up, and I need to keep with the leaders. If I can do that through the top of the climb, I feel like I’ll be sitting pretty.

I have no doubt I can hold my own through the meat of the trail and my only next concern comes with the final climb of the day, which is a punchy 12% grade, 60ft or so of ascent over 1/10 of a mile. From past rides at RHR, this climb kicks my butt. It’s very close to the end of the loop, is steep, and loose. I know I’m going to be hurting on this one, but I just want to fight through the pain and make it over the top with good momentum to carry me through to the end.

So this week I’ll have a bike fitting on Tuesday, followed by a spin to keep the legs fresh. Thursday will be intervals and then the weekend will be here. Super D race on Saturday and XC race on Sunday.

Go for the gold!

About TC

Long time mountain biker, recent mountain bike racer. Borderline unhealthy obsession with mountain biking, constantly drawn to hit the dirt and share my experiences.

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