CX State Championship

Posted on 5:56 PM by Schottler

I don't even know where to start... the race was epic. We haven't had any rain in a while and I was driving to the race thinking it was going to be dry and frozen. I was wrong as shit, it was mudtacular. I have never raced cross in the mud before, so I had no idea where I would end up. The course was 2 miles long, had a pavement start/finish area, hill run/ride up, 4 5" barriers, 2 normal barriers, and lots and lots of slippin slidin corners and sludgy mud sections. I took the pit bike out for a couple practice laps and ate shit both laps... not helping the confidence. However, the course was one of the best of the year, it was still super fast considering the conditions.

There weren't many people in the P12's field, mainly because they were doing the Master's races, or they didn't want to ride in the cold, but everyone lined up has been consistently fast all year. Once we took off I was on 4th wheel into the mud/grass, but peeps were taking diggers and sliding out in some of the first turns. Eventually I ended up on Breslin's wheel in 2nd after riding the hill, but going into the corner of carnage with snot like slippery mud Davey slid out and I got by and spooled up the turbo. Through the end of the 1st lap and into the 2nd and 3rd I built up about a 30 second gap. But as usual, my back couldn't handle it anymore and was hurting bad, not giving me much to push against... which is unfortunate since my legs felt great.

I starting slowing down and looked back and saw Butthead dragging a train of people back to me... so I tried to punch it again. That train of people began to derail and it was Butthead and Breslin that were chasing me down. I ignored my back bullshit and went as hard as I could. Butthead was attached to my rear wheel for a little over a lap and we starting pulling away from Breslin. With 2 laps to go Josh went by and I was glued to his back tire for a little while, losing some time in the sludge mud section, but caught back up again riding up the hill. I did everything I could to stay with him and he pulled away by a few seconds. Towards the end of the last lap I was back on Josh's tire and he attacked through the last few corners and I couldn't keep it going. I took 2nd about 5 seconds behind Johnson, but I am still happy with how it all went down, considering this was my first mud cross race. I took 4th last year in the cat 3 race... skills and fitness have improved.

It was a super awesome race, thanks to the Bocomo peloton and everyone else for screaming their brains out, and Benji for horribly playing the trumpet that I could unfortunately hear everywhere. Nice work Dan for ripping up the 3's race and taking a win, Ethan for taking 3rd in his race with no rear brake and a good 2 minute stop in the pits to fix a rear wheel, Breslin for hanging on uncomfortably close, and Mike Best for still taking a nice 8th after a month of hanging out on the couch.

2010 will be a good year...

Bubba #9

Posted on 7:30 PM by Schottler

I had a pretty big week of riding last week to lead up to this last Bubba race and the state championship. The course this week was pretty awesome, including a sweet sweeping section through the tree's with rutted turns you could lay into at full speed, and some higher speed paved sections.

I tried getting on the front row this week but being handle bar to handle bar I dropped back a couple feet to prevent an inevitable bar tie up crash with Davey B or Jay. This put me in about 10thish place into the first turn, which really wasn't what I was going for. The course however was pretty consistent so coming into the 2nd lap there was still a line of about 10 dudes, with Dr. Mark setting a super fast pace, with me being towards the back scoping things out. The infamous scary root, which I crashed on during a practice lap, jumbled up the group a bit and gaps began to open. Coming out of the steep mud climb a pretty big gap opened up on the front 3 riders, I managed to get by a few riders and put down a full sprint on the paved section against the headwind and caught the lead group. I followed the group for a while and eventually ended up riding on Nate Rice's wheel for a lap, with me leading for another lap. After that, Nate went by and I was having trouble matching his speed and began to bog down, with my lower back completely gone (my usual excuse every race this year.)

The rest of the race I was pushing myself as hard as I could to keep my distance from the chase group, who looked very strong. I finished the race in 2nd about 20 seconds behind Nate, I managed to bring back about 10 seconds in the last 2 laps, but there is no way I would have survived another lap. Nate was freaking flying through everything.

My goal this winter is to fix this whole weak back thing that is sapping power after 25 minutes of super effort.

Thanks again Team Seagal and everyone else for screaming at the top of their lungs to push us the whole race, it really makes this type of racing the most epic.

BoCoMo 1-2-3

Posted on 6:56 AM by Schottler

I guess I have the last 2 Bubba races to talk about here. Last week (Bubba #7) was my favorite course of the year, very mountain bikey... and I thought I was going to get shot driving there. It had some super fast sections, some good climbs, double sand pit, and a good mud section. I attacked on lap 2 or 3 and managed to build up a lead close to a minute... mainly because Breslin and Alex Grman had some bike trouble out of the mud. I held the lead for about 45 minutes and saw some angry guy in a Ultra kit pushing poor little kids into tree's with cross hairs pointed at the back of my head. He managed to catch me with 1 lap to go, but I have to say it was an impressive ride on his part, I can live with 2nd. Here is a vid thanks to the PBR drinking Segal dudes: That's me right at the start, with a 30 second lead.

I have to thank Ethan for ripping up on me and Josh the Saturday before each of these cross races, it helped getting our legs ready for some thrashing. My initial thoughts when I looked at the course were pretty simple... fuck me. I think everyone had this idea when they looked at the course and pre-rode it. I put in a couple practice laps and the course was very slow, the ground was very soft and zapped your energy everywhere you rode. There wasn't a big enough area to make a long fast lap, so there was a lot of zig zagging on the side of a hill, with lots of sketchy off camber descents. Not to mention there was a ginormously steep climb straight up one of the hills. However having this course right below the winery on a small plot of land meant there were fans everywhere screaming at you, which kept the encouragement to the max.

At the start, as usual, everyone punched each other in the face to get on the starting line. I started in the 3rd row, out of 28 people or so. Josh decided to start about 15 feet behind the 2nd to last person. I took the first lap pretty easy, slowly rode by a few people and took off on the 2nd lap. I caught up to Dan Miller, who was absolutely killing it the whole race. Going into the 3rd lap I passed Dan and started my mission. I built up my lead to about 30 seconds or so and turned on the cruise control for the rest of the race, keeping an eye on Butthead and Dan. I was able to ride the steep climb/run up every lap, which was HUGE time builder. At the end of the day it was a bocomo 1-2-3, which is awesome.

Thanks to Mike D and GoPate for awesome pictures as usual! Also thanks to everyone screaming during the whole race, that's what makes these races so awesome!

Time Out

Posted on 6:41 PM by Schottler

After I thought I was in the clear from that creek water, I was struck down by 3 days of cuddling up next to the crapper. A doctor visit and some antibiotics later, I can actually do stuff. I took a few days off last week to rest... then did a 5 hour gravel ride, then Giardia hit, then more days off the bike and eating hardly anything for 3 days. I did my first ride today and flatted a half hour out with a broken co2 dispenser and had to get a ride back... not the best start back. It will take a little time to get my fitness back, but I will be returning with a super sweet matching set of cross bikes. I have next years racing plans 99% figured out now... more to come about that later.

All good

Posted on 9:08 PM by Schottler

My swollen knee felt a little sore this morning on my ride, but it is all good now, it even stopped bleeding tonight. The fury is building once again, I will rip legs this weekend.

Also enjoy this video... you thought your day at work was bad?

2 bikes and a DNF

Posted on 6:27 PM by Schottler

Well I had a race a week ago with very little problems, so it was about time for something to go wrong. Raced Bubba #5 today in St. Louis against all the local fast dudes. I opted out of the 10:30PM race the night before so I could go socialize (heavy drinking) and enjoy the scenery that Halloween offers.

But anyway, I started near the back and watched everyone hurt each other as I mozied towards the front. After about 4 laps or so and $1 later, I was feeling good and ready to pick up the pace. Butthead was back in the lead group and I knew he didn't feel like sitting on, we attacked on either side of the group and lead into the first turn of the lap with BH about to rip his leg off as he nearly slid off the course. We managed to pull a gap on the rest, riding the railroad tie section ($1), and riding pretty clean, making up some time in the corners.

After about 3 laps of riding with BH we rode the railroad tie section again and my front tire slid out coming off the first and I rode straight into the next and smashed my knee into my handlebar. I tried to get back on and start going but noticed I couldn't feel anything from my knee down. I sat up for a second and made sure I had movement and tried to keep going. Some feeling came back in my knee and the pain felt deep, not superficial. I thought I may have messed something up so I walked down the course as everyone passed by and decided it wasn't worth risking it. I pulled the plug to prevent further injury. It is pretty swollen tonight, I will try riding on it tomorrow morning.

On the bright side, I found $40 in the parking lot and won $2 from being awesome. The new cross bike felt comfortable and fast... no back pain either.

BTEpic Domination

Posted on 7:11 PM by Schottler

I decided to do the Berryman Epic mountain bike race after Green Bean's inspirational pep talks about how I might be able to do well. It is a 56 mile race with about 40 miles of single track... all one big loop. Over the last few weeks we have been pounded by rain, which stuck around in a lot of this trail. Whoever told me the Berryman drains really fast and well is a dirty liar.

I lined up next to Steve Tilford, Bill Stolte, Eric Pirtle, Josh Johnson, Dwayne Goscinski, Mike Best, Garth Prosser (Cannondale Factory Racing), and Green Beans (going for 112 miles in 2 days), as well as some others. About 1/4 mile into the race we ran into a flooded river, but the promoters parked a fifth wheel trailer over the river to give us a bridge. I managed to be in 5th position over this bridge so I didn't get caught up in the traffic. There was then about a 3-5 mile gravel climb to the single track with. We had a pace line of 5 guys going up the climb at a pretty good pace with a sprint for the start of the single track. I let Tilford and Pirtle go so I could follow their secret pro lines. We had a decent pace going through the single track with Pirtle leading, he was putting time on us in the descents but it was made up in the flats and climbs. Right before the first checkpoint he hit a mystery rock and flew over the bars into a tree... we thought he broke his back and told people at the checkpoint (bottom of the hill) what happened, but thankfully nothing was broken, but he did severely bruise everything from his ass to his neck, he will be recovered in a few weeks... very lucky.

Back into the single track I passed Dwayne and then got back on Tilford's wheel, which then started to flat. For the next 20 miles I turned up the throttle and didn't look over my shoulder once. I managed to run up a bigger and bigger gap each checkpoint... until I got past checkpoint 4. At this point I had about a 7 minute lead with 15 miles to go (I had no idea what my gap was then... the downfall of running 1st). I forgot to fill up my 2 bottles I have been carrying along and began to get dehydrated. All I could think about was water and how much farther I had to go... I wouldn't be able to make it without any. I began to slow down considerably and take some pretty bad lines, losing huge chunks of time. I ran my options through my head and decided I wasn't going to blow this race because of another mistake. I found a clear flowing creek and dropped my bike and filled up my bottle, chugged it, and filled it up again and took off. I figured I could either get sick, win this race, make some serious cash... or completely blow up right then and have everyone pass me and continue my season of disappointments. How bad could the sickness be anyway?

I got some power back after all the liquid and ate some more food and managed to pick up the pace for a little while. At this point I began looking over my shoulder pretty frequently just waiting to see Dwayne or Tilford chasing me down... I had no idea of the time splits. The whole race, especially now, I was talking to myself to keep myself going, only a little longer... just keep pushing it. My pace was slowing down considerably, I was losing my legs and my heart rate began to slow down a lot.

Up the last climb I heard an unnerving disc brake squeal coming from somewhere in the woods... which picked my heart rate back up. At the top of this hill there was about 6-8 miles of gravel back to the finish. I was struggling quite a bit on this road, tucking on the descents and just trying to keep my legs turning over. The single track was done, all I had to do was pedal pedal pedal, almost to the finish.

After the final gravel descent I got back to the camp ground and flooded river and I lit up... I just won this shit. I started riding through the river, which was a hell of a lot deeper than I thought... and it threw my bike out from under me and I started running through, then mashed through the super soggy and loose rock to the paved road. I can't remember the last time I felt this relieved and happy of what I accomplished. For some reason while riding up the last paved climb of the ride I decided to look over my shoulder just to make sure I was alone and I saw a green jersey out of the saddle with a very angry face mashing like crazy... coming at me quick. I completely freaked out and got out of the saddle and let out every ounce of strength I had left to sprint up the climb... which was enough to keep Steve Tilford from catching me. I was thinking there was no way I was going to lead for 50 miles and lose in the last 50 meters.

I rolled through the finish completely trashed and torn up... and they told me I set a new course record. I just thought to myself "wtf, holy shit, cash monieezz." I talked to Steve after the race, he had multiple flats and was able to bring all the time I built back in the last 15 miles. I could have been a little bit better prepared with more calorie consumption and some bottles at the last check point... this could have kept my lead at the finish and prevented the nasty bonking. But I was still able to pull it off... a win and the new course record, taking home $1,750... time for cross bike #2.

Everyone was saying there is no way anyone could set a new record with how bad the course conditions were... it was just too muddy and slow. I beat the record by 3 minutes, along with Tilford and Dwayne. This race was very vicious and competitive... I have never pushed myself that hard for that long, definitely a good experience.

Also, props to Dwayne for finishing VERY closely behind us... I was not expecting times to be this close after 56 miles. Nice work Butthead for finishing an impressive 7th with about 3 mountain bike rides this year, not bad for a roadie. Congrats to Mike Best for rounding out the top 10... the BOCOMO peloton had a very strong showing. Nate Means completed the Tour and the Race... 112 miles of mountain biking, which is totally nuts, there is no way I could have done that.

Also, it has been over 2 days since the creek water... no rocket shits. But my legs may not be recovered by this weekend.

CX #6

Posted on 6:33 PM by Schottler

First Bubba Cross race of the season, at night. I felt like crap the whole time, my legs never opened up, I had no technical skillz, it was a bad day. I felt more comfortable at our first cross practice than at this race, oh well.

I will be ready for the Berryman Epic next weekend... there will be plenty of anger and frustration to unload for 55 miles. I would not recommend riding near me.

CX 4 & 5

Posted on 7:54 PM by Schottler

Raced in Parkville, MO this weekend for the first two Boss Cross events. Felt good and confident going into the races... hoping to get a similar result to last weekend. The course was very bumpy, tight, but fast. There weren't many places to pass, so I burnt a lot of time sitting in groups that I should have passed. My legs felt great both days, but my lower back blew up half way through both races, which totally sucked. I also had some trouble keeping my tires on the ground... washed out my front tire a couple times during both races, which is what everyone seemed to be doing. The crashes happened pretty early in both races and I tweaked my derailleur hanger pretty bad, giving me only a few functioning gears. Needless to say a pit bike would have been super duper... or more mad skillzz. Time to scheme. Results weren't what I was hoping, 7th Saturday and 10th Sunday, but still not bad considering who showed up.

CX #3 Diamond Blackfan

Posted on 7:18 PM by Schottler

Raced in Lenexa Kansas on Sunday in the Diamond Blackfan cross race. A bunch of fast dudes showed up to this race, like Tilford, Butthead, Shad Smith, Jeff Winkler, local mtn bike badass Aaron Elwell, Cameron Chambers, the whole KCCX crew, Brian Jensen, and some others.

After stalking Butthead for a couple practice laps to help discover some good lines and some very helpful last minute secret tips, we were off. Started in the second row but somehow ended up being 3/4 to the back of the field into the first turn, about 6 places behind Butthead. I used his last minute advice, which I am not going to mention, and managed to get myself up towards the front of the pack after about 5 laps and on his wheel. Riders were getting picked off pretty quickly and eventually we caught up the 3rd place rider and got around. With 2.5 two mile laps to go, Butthead sent his bike through some tape coming out of a turn and I went by, waited for a second for him to get back on, and saw Brian Jensen catch back up so I took off. After a couple bad lines and slides through some turns I got some rhythm back and was able to put on a little room. Sitting in 3rd place with Shad Smith and Tilford about 15 seconds ahead, I didn't see me catching up so I tried to keep smooth and consistent. Ended up finishing the race in 3rd, with Tilford winning and Shad Smith in 2nd, and Butthead right on my ass.


The course suited me very well, it was very turny and flowy with a lot of short accelerations. Pretty happy that I was finally able to race well, let's hope it wasn't a one hit wonder. There are 2 races in KC this weekend that I'll be doing, hopefully I will be able to keep it up.

First CX of the season

Posted on 4:25 PM by Schottler

First race of the season in Hermann, MO. I got my GTR Type CX cross bike 90% complete for the racing season. Still waiting on a set of Zipp 303 cross tubulars.

Only 10 or so people showed up in the A's field, which isn't really what I was expecting for the first race of the year. The start of the race was surprisingly slow, I somehow found myself off the front with a bit of a gap on the field without really putting in any effort. Looking back, that would have been a good time to take off, but oh well. Later in the race Butthead came up and attacked and I jumped on his wheel and we quickly put a huge gap on everyone. He kept yelling at me to get on his wheel but a couple laps later my lower back completely blew up. I lost quite a bit of power since my core couldn't compensate the pedaling effort, and getting bumped around a lot. So BH took off and I spent a lot of time stretching my back so I could start pedaling again. It never really got any better but still finished the race in 2nd place with a healthy lead on 3rd place. It was a lot slower than I planned on going and wasn't putting in a lot of effort because my back wouldn't let me. I felt very comfortable on my bike and very smooth through the corners and over the barriers. My core will be getting a healthy ass kicking to help keep my lower back from being stressed out.

This race was a good way to get dialed in on my bike and get comfortable through the corners. It was pretty obvious to see my weakness is my core strength... so with some good workouts there should be a big improvement.

Dakota 50

Posted on 7:55 PM by Schottler

Took a 14 hour drive with Green Beans to Spearfish SD for the Dakota 50 mountain bike race on Sunday. 389 people registered for the race, about 100 more than last year. The course consisted of mainly single track with small sections of gravel roads and a little bit of double track. It was probably some of the best single track I have ridden, with some awesome views.

The race started at 7:20am, which was about 4 hours too early for me. After waking up at the ass crack of dawn I had about 10 minutes to warm up, which kind of sucked. The race was a mass start with a neutral start following a 4 wheeler, with Smokey the bear telling us to go. The first part of the race was about a 3 mile climb up a gravel road, I rode off with the main group who lead a pretty fast pace with a lot of attacks. My legs felt like concrete the first 20 miles and needless to say I wasn't having much fun. With my legs super tight, my lower back exploded about 5 miles into the race, which totally sucked. I then got stung by a bee under my helmet at about mile 7, that was fun.

I was still picking off riders who hit the first climb way too hard and blew themselves up. By the time I hit the 2nd aid station they told me I was in 7th place and filled a bottle and took off. I really wasn't sure where I was in this race, so this gave me some more motivation.

The last 20 miles it was game on, my legs finally loosened up and were ready for some pounding. I made up a lot of time and was reeling in the leading riders. I was able to catch a couple more and finished the race in 5th place overall, 2nd in my age group. I finished the 50 mile race in 3:58. 2 riders finished the race under 4 hours last year, so I am pretty happy with the time and position.

Back at it

Posted on 9:10 AM by Schottler

Those 2 weeks I took off made my legs feel like chunks of concrete but my desire to ride has completely come back. Last week felt great, rode 22 hours with a pretty fast 4 hour gravel ride Saturday with Butthead and Ethan who just tried to crack me and make me cry. Sunday was an awesome 6 hour gravel ride on mountain bikes with Beans, ProPam, Lou and Steve from Tryathletics. Discovered tons of awesome gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere, it was good preparation on the mountain bike for next upcoming race.

Green Beans and I will be traveling to South Dakota over Labor Day weekend to race in the Dakota 5-0. This race looks like a shitload of fun, I am super pumped.

I have been putting in most of my hours on the new cross bike and am starting to feel very comfortable on it, it will gets its race bike makeover sometime next week. Trying to decide on ordering Bontrager XXX carbon tubular wheels or Zipp 303's. Cross tires have been ordered.

Thanks to Butthead, motivation to train and race is back.

That was a bad idea

Posted on 3:18 PM by Schottler

Got back from Wisconsin Friday evening, took my number plate from the Castlewood race (2 weeks ago) and got my bike ready. This was the last time I rode a bike, so I figured the smartest thing to do was head out for a 6 hour mountain bike race.

I was super excited to go ride again and still had high hopes of myself thinking my legs would be really fresh. I got to the race a little late and didn't have any time for a warm up, but it's a 6 hour race so who cares. The race started with a stupid 1/4 mile run up a giant loose doubletrack trail then got on the bike and took off. I immediately noticed I didn't have very much punch in my legs so I took it pretty easy the first 9 mile lap. 2nd lap I was putting out a consistent effort, similar to what I did at the marathon Nats, so I should have been able to maintain this all day. I had a huge lead in 1st place in my age group and was pretty happy with what was going on.

After about 2 hours I began to get very hot and exhausted and began drinking huge amounts of liquids and my body was starting to fatigue. I started cramping in my hamstrings up a climb and realized things were going to get rough real fast. After this happened I lost all motivation and decided to go for a bike ride, so I took it easy laps 3 and 4. My back started hurting so bad that I couldn't breathe and couldn't get my heart rate up at all. I quit having fun at about 2:30 and just wanted to take a nap on lap 5. I didn't even see a reason to keep going on this race, I lost so much time laying on the ground, I quit having fun, and I realized I wasn't going to accomplish anything. Needless to say I threw in the towel on the 5th lap. I didn't come here just to finish, I wanted a solid result, especially with what I was able to do at the Marathon National Championships. I went back to my car and nearly threw up and drove home.

I guess that's just what happens after 2 weeks of no excercise. A full suspension, a 29er, or both would have been my best friend on the course. It was very rough in a lot of spots... so I pretty much got the shit kicked out of me the entire time. Time for some base miles.... cross time.

Castlewood is the shit

Posted on 7:36 PM by Schottler

I told myself I was going to take 2 weeks off the bike after the Rockbridge race... but I couldn't make myself do it. I spun twice this week for 1 hour each, with some openers the day before the race. I wasn't really planning on doing this race until Butthead, Hyland, Ethan, and Green Beans talked me into it. By the time we got to the race I still wasn't very into racing that day, but wasn't too concerned on where I would place... mainly because I didn't ride all week and I have never ridden at Castlewood before. I did put on some new Hutchinson Python UST Light (not very light, dont worry) tires.

The field was pretty stacked in the expert open and open 35+ with plenty of fast dudes, like Aaron Elwell (pro from KC who just had surgery on his hand a week before), Chris Ploch, Dave Breslin, John Rhines, Tim Kakouris, and a few others.

Once they said go, I had trouble clipping in and started off in about 5th place. On the first climb I saw Breslin, Ploch, and Aaron take off while I was stuck on a wheel with no room to pass. Once I finally got around I was able to chase them down and stick to their wheels to help guide me through a totally unfamiliar course, with Breslin pulling pretty hard and looking strong. About 3/4 of the way through the lap I heard the very familiar sound of air spewing from a tire and I was about to retire... but it was Breslin with the unfortunate flat. So it was down to the 3 of us and Aaron picked up the pace a bit to see how we would respond. At the end of this lap Aaron clipped his pedal on a rock and went flying over the handlebars with Ploch running into his bike, and I thankfully had enough time to stop.

Ploch and I got back at it again after rolling through the next lap and he picked up the pace a little more. I was with him up the first climb and managed to slide off the course at one section of the flowy decent and Ploch noticed and punched it to keep me off his wheel. I was at a distict disadvantage on this course since I have never ridden it, while it was Ploch's backyard. After losing his wheel, it was going to be hard to keep the same pace since I didn't know a lot of the secret fast lines. I hammered where I could and took plenty of risks with some sweet 2 wheel drifts on the descents to try and get some time back. Unfortunately I kept saying to myself "2nd place is good enough," which really isn't the best train of thought when battling for the lead. But considering how my previous races have gone, 2nd works fine. I put myself in a comfortable pace for the majority of the rest of the race and tried to ride as smooth as I could to keep away from any mechanicals. Rolled through the finish in 2nd place, 3 minutes behind Ploch, with the 2nd fastest overall time of the day.

Overall, I am happy with how everything went. I had the strength to get back on Ploch's wheel but I was lacking motivation to catch him... and my stupid iPod picking a bunch of shitty non-angry songs wasn't helping much. I didn't come to the race with much fire, but more of a want to come and race clean and smooth with no flats. This was his course, his race, with his team promoting it... he definately brought the speed and deserved the win, nice job Chris.

I may be spotted at Spanish Lake this weekend... we will see how the week goes.

Just a bike race

Posted on 9:36 PM by Schottler

I raced the Show Me Games mountain race at Rockbridge State Park this Sunday. I won the last 3 races held out there, 1 past show me games and 2 A's collegiate races. It was my home course that I could race with my eyes closed.

Butthead took the whole shot with me on his back tire heckling for the first mile, with Ploch right behind us, followed by an inevitable flat tire into a creek bed. The new SlimePro sealant I used did seal the tire up with 10psi to go, but I didn't trust it much, so I put in a new tube. After all the expert riders and some sport riders went by I was on my way... with about 50psi in my back tire. Needless to say I was on a mission of breaking legs the rest of the first 8 mile lap and the 2nd. I dropped my water bottle after about 100 feet of getting it on the 2nd lap, so I finished that lap waterless. Fitness felt very good, loads of power, super pissed off, lots of bad lines. I ran into a ton of traffic through the single track, mainly the marathon racers and the sport/expert riders I was chasing down from the flat tire. By the time I hit the 3rd lap I was just getting irritated with what was happening and decided to go for a bike ride, not realizing the guy with me was in my category. Apparently I managed to get back into 3rd position, but dropped to 4th when I was slowing down on the last lap, finishing right behind Wes. Butthead and Ploch sprinted to the line for the finish, with Butthead taking it. Great... I will be hearing about this for the next 10 years, at least.

3rd race in a row of getting a flat. First it was 3 different maxxis Crossmark UST's that split open, then it was 2 Bontrager XR1 tires. I just ordered a pair of Hutchinson Python UST's that are about 200 grams heavier a piece, but will hopefully be able to hold some air in for me to finish a race.

I was planning on taking the next 2 weeks off completely since I have been losing desire to ride my bike, but this race has given me some more motivation. I plan on spinning a couple times this week and racing again this weekend at Castlewood. Never ridden there before, I will just be racing for fun.

I know, wtf is that?

burning out

Posted on 9:38 AM by Schottler

I've been feeling weak and tired lately since my Breckenridge race, so I took Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off from riding. Since I forgot about the state championships race on Saturday and had to work all day, I spent the rest of my time laying on the couch relaxing. I am disappointed I missed this race, but the timing wasn't very good. I seem to have chronic lower back pain which I think is linked to the way my mountain bike is set up, however it feels great while I am riding. It felt good taking 3 days off in a row, which has happened once since December, but my 1 hour ride today didn't give me much encouragement on fitness. I plan on being ready for the show me state games at Rockbridge so I can try to get a 4 in a row win out there. After that it will be a week off the bike and then preparation for cross season and a few select mountain races. Having little desire to ride my bike and watching the wattage drop isn't a very good feeling.

Tired legs

Posted on 9:13 AM by Schottler

I have been feeling shitty this week on the bike, starting to slow down I think. I may skip the race this weekend to get some rest so I can make it a little bit longer before I crack. A week off the bike is coming pretty soon, as well as beginning preparation for cyclocross.


Posted on 1:21 PM by Schottler

The Firecracker 50 is a very challenging 50 mile race, last years DNF rate was 25%. I would guess this year was about the same, if not more. I took some tips from Nolan Froese about proper openers the day before and day of, which I think helped quite a bit. Despite the 11,000 foot elevation, my legs felt amazing.

My race strategy was to set a pace for myself that I know I could maintain for a large amount of time, and forget everyone else around me. There are so many places to pass, it doesn't matter where they are. The first climb of the race was about 8 miles long, starting on a paved to gravel road. I felt great on this climb, passing the people that were getting popped from the main lead group. I decided to not try and stay with the lead group knowing most of those dudes are just trying to hang on for dear life and will just get destroyed. By the top of this climb was beginning to pass some pro's that were already hurting.

The rest of this race consisted of very very steep crawling climbs that seemed to last forever. I was at a distinct disadvantage in this race with absolutely no altitude training and no sustained climbing experience. However these climbs are just lactic threshold efforts, which anyone can do, but experience climbing at just a few miles an hour would have been helpful. I passed a pretty large amount of pro racers on the climbs and was riding with them through the single track, which was an awesome experience.

My first lap was around 2:05, about 19 minutes faster than last year. I felt very strong and was able to stay very motivated and determined the entire race, definitely turning myself inside out on the climbs.

This race has 4 aid stations per lap, where they hand out water, gatorade, Clif shot blocks, and some Clif shots. Last year I didn't take advantage of this, but this race I grabbed two bottles and at about 2 snacks each station. I suffered from nasty cramps last year and didn't want a repeat. Thankfully, there were no cramps.

Going through the second lap, I passed quite a few people on the initial paved/gravel climb, keeping myself right at my lactic threshold. But this race couldn't be complete without me breaking something on my bike, so about 3/4 through the second lap, with a big gap on the next people in my field, I hit a nasty rock and blew my back tire. This was on a decent just after the most epic climb of the race, with my heart rate pegged. I had a lot of trouble getting a tube in, since my arms and hands would barely work and all I wanted to do was take a nap. While fixing it, I had about 7 people fly by me, 2 of which were in my field... SHIT. I got back on my bike and my legs were like concrete and it took some time to get my rhythm back. Fortunately, my legs opened up again and I started making up time. I managed to get back to those who passed me and it began to rain. This rain made the course pretty slippery in spots, and if you saw my tires, it's pretty obvious they are the worst mud tires anyone could use. Myself and about 4 others ran a pain train up the last climb, reeling some others back in and breaking them. But when we got to the last bit of technical single track before the finish, my legs shut off and I realized I wouldn't be able to get much done with those tires on slippery rocks and mud.

Coming through the finish, I figured I was in the top 5 of my class... but somehow I finished 10th. My time was 4:29, which is 33 minutes faster than last year. This time last year would have put me in 5th place. The next 5 positions up from me were only about 4 minutes difference, which is very small. I am pretty discouraged from which place I finished in, but still happy with my time. 33 minutes is a very large amount of time. I think with the flat tire on a decent, time fixing it, and the time getting my rhythm back cost me about 5 minutes, at least. It cost me at least 2 positions. My first lap was pretty quick, but the second slowed down quite a bit, from the flat tire and being tired. If I were in the pro field, I would have finished 23rd out of the 50 or so that started, which is fairly encouraging. Looking back at the race, I could have ridden harder up the climbs, but I didn't know how much it would take to make me cramp up and fall over.

I will be back again next year for a time of 4:15 and a top 5 finish.

Firecracker 50

Posted on 8:21 PM by Schottler

This elevation profile shows the type of suffering that will occur this coming 4th of July. I am going to be doing the Firecracker 50, Marathon National Championships for the 2nd year. 11,000 feet of climbing, 50 miles, and 4 aid stations per lap with water and food. Apparently they are putting in a mud section... we will see how that goes with the new super lightweight, small knobbed, tiny 2.0's I just installed.

Last year I did this race I managed to finish 15th @ 5:02 in the Open 19-29 group. I didn't do very well, mainly because I spent a lot of time standing and laying on the ground cramping horribly, and walking up some of the climbs. It probably didn't help camping the night before and eating a couple bagels for breakfast. It was one of the best race experiences I have had, and I feel very confident I can knock a half hour off of my time. Last year I was in base mile mode with no races under my belt all year, as well as no race effort training. If I can finish in 4:30 I should be in the top 5, which would be amazing. I think climbing is one of my strong points, but we will see how well I can climb for 9 miles. I will be leaving Friday at 3:00 am and will be driving to Breck by myself, arriving at around 2-3pm. I plan on spending an hour and a half or so preriding a little and then crashing at the hotel pretty early. Saturday will be raceday... followed by a long and tiring drive home.

I have installed some Bontrager XR1 Team tires, which are super light weight and very fast rolling. They take off 200 grams from each wheel, which will be very significant when I am climbing and try to accelerate all day long. They are not tubeless tires, but after an hour of suffering, I managed to get them seated with some Stan's. I am not using any Maxxis tires for a while due to what I've experienced...

I have to blame Maxxis for a few flats I have had lately. I have gone through 3 brand new UST Crossmark tires that have been opening up at the seams. Maxxis told me the warranty is void due to me using Stan's sealant... which is a load of shit. The 3rd tire blew the day after I installed it. I am on an anti-Maxxis campaign. If this is how they back up their products, I don't recommend anyone buy their products if they want any guarantee on performance. I have gone through 4 sets of Maxxis tires in the past with absolutely no problems... with Stan's Sealant. They won't replace my $75 dollar tires that are obviously constructed and seamed together with horse shit.

Anyway, the new Ergon grips with carbon bar ends will be helpful for the long climbs, I just need to remember to pace myself... tempo... long race.

Disappointment #alot

Posted on 8:29 PM by Schottler

I seem to have been screwing up every single race I have done this season. I did the cat III state championships road race last weekend and started a 4 man break and managed to drop my extra water bottle, leaving me waterless the last 33.5 mile lap. I still ended up 3rd, but I knew if I had something to drink and eat I easily could have taken a win. I hoped to fix this consistent string of stupid mistakes and do something better than my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes all season.

I headed out to Farmington MO, to do the St. Joe Midwest Fat Tire Series race. I immediately started sweating when I opened the door with the 94 degree temperatures, but was very pleased with how great my legs felt when I was warming up. I knew I may be able to accomplish something this season, finally.

When the race started I got clipped in immediately and knew I could have sprinted in for the hole shot, but remember what happened last time I did that... so I let Breslin take it this time and see what would happen. Eric Pirtle was in this race as well... I have never raced him before but have heard stories of how he demolishes dreams. He passed Breslin after a little bit of the single track, but we managed to stay very close to him the whole first lap. I found myself to be making some random mistakes and picking some bad lines while running on Breslins wheel, since the trail was very unpredictable, but I was able to make up the time pretty quickly. My legs felt very strong and ready for some carnage, but decided to sit on for a while to see what would happen. I wasn't sure how I would react to the heat. I was planning on waiting for the paved path into the second lap to start pushing it.

Once Breslin and I got to the paved path I stood up to hammer and noticed my bike bobbing all over the place and thought to myself "awesome, great, blowing another race." I figured it was over and just rolled through the start/finish area and sat there for a couple minutes watching Ploch roll through. Then I remembered this wasn't a collegiate race and they said I could go to my car and fix it, which I did. I had a good size slit in the back tire and it was taking a while for the Stan's to fix it, had to fill up the tire twice. I figured "might as well get my money's worth and get some more race effort training in for the day." I hopped back in the field, having no idea where everyone was. I was feeling very strong and managed to pass a few people, asking what category they were in. I caught up to and passed the 35+ expert riders and was going after the open expert field. After 6 miles of the 2nd lap I was flying over some of the humps and managed to fly off the trail and monster truck some big nasty rocks, blowing both of my tires simultaneously. It was a vicious impact that dented my front wheel, I was amazed I stayed upright.

Needless to say, I walked back to the finish... taking a short cut on the paved path, which I walked the wrong way down for 1/2 a mile. I felt like I had amazing fitness for this race... but bad luck again struck me down... again. It is getting very very irritating, I know I have the power and ability to do well, but I can't seem to put them both together.

Rhett's Run

Posted on 5:24 PM by Schottler

So I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder... which I was hoping was a dump truck, so I fell back asleep, to awake again with some more of this noise. Following that was rain, fantastic. I knew Missouri couldn't have a mountain race before July that's dry. The beginner riders had a somewhat sloppy, but not deep mud course. By the time the expert and sport riders left, the course began to dry out a little with small sections of wet. The field was pretty stacked with big boys from around St. Louis, KC, and CoMo. After a quick warm up I got on the front row of the expert field with Dave Breslin, Chris Ploch, Cameron Chambers, Butthead, Mike Best, and a couple others. This was pretty intimidating, since I know all of these guys have some big and fast racing experience, I was the little guy of the bunch. On 'Go' Time I managed to take the whole shot, into the single track, with Cameron Chambers and Dave Breslin on my tail. I had an advantage with knowing every rock and line on the trail and managed to pull away with taking each perfect and smooth line. By the top of the first climb my heart rate was pegged and my legs weren't getting rid of the lactic acid and I was having some trouble keeping the speed. After seeing the guys bring me back in I decided to sit up a little and try to recover, which didn't happen very quickly. About half way through the first lap, Chambers passed me, followed by Breslin, I knew I couldn't maintain their speed so I got over to let them by and not slow them down. By this time I was yelling at my legs to wake up and get moving, which didn't seem to happen until the end of the second, 4.5 mile lap. Chris Ploch passed me towards the end of the first lap. Apparently the course I had dialed in was the last few years race course... they decided to put on a top secret horribly marked 15 second loop towards the end of the lap... which started and ended at the same place. By the second lap I saw Ploch coming an odd direction and I was right with him... and he said "dude you cut the course," and I responded with a 'wtf where?' Then I figured it out and sat up for a little while because I felt retarded and let him get his gap back again. The start of the third lap it was game on, my legs were finally able to put out some consistent power and I was flying passed all the sport riders on the course, trying to make up for lost time. On the 4th and final lap, I was closing in on Ploch. Right when I got on his wheel my front tire slid out and I jackknifed my bike into a tree with a running dismount, got back on and tried to bring him back. About 2 minutes later I pass him lying on the ground with a very painful looking cramp. Unfortunately Chambers and Breslin had too much time on me and I rolled through the finish, about 2 minutes behind Chambers. Breslin was sent out by himself on a 5th lap. I ended the race in 3rd, not where I was planning, but I can't complain considering how stacked the race was. Overall, the first 2 laps were probably some of the worst 2 laps I have ever had in a race. I need to figure out how to get a better start and make my legs ready to kill. Thankfully, I had absolutely no bike problems, the XTR crankset worked great, along with a new, correct sized seat post.

In the zone

Posted on 8:56 PM by Schottler

My legs are officially done whining and complaining. I did my first long high intensity road ride yesterday and discovered my lactic threshold has gone up 30 watts from when I was peaking last year. Somewhere in this 1.5 hour, 24.7 mph effort, I managed to maintain 360 watts for 20 minutes, and 320 watts for the full 1.5 hours. These are all personal bests for me, and should still be going up further into the season. However these numbers don't mean anything if I can't race well... hopefully I'll be able to keep my head down and hammer through my mountain races like I can do by myself on the road. I've noticed I have a tendency to sit up too soon and lose focus too quickly in races, which costs huge amounts of time. The race in my hometown this weekend should be a good time to get over this, since there are numerous people I know that are coming to watch, which motivates me quite a bit. I have plenty of frustration from last weekends constant mechanicals, keeping me from getting a guaranteed top 2 or 3 finish, so I am more than willing to suffer for a good result.

Bump N' Grind

Posted on 7:13 PM by Schottler

My buddy Brent Davidson and I headed out on a 10 hour drive to Birmingham Alabama Friday at about 3pm. This was the 15th annual Bump N' Grind mountain bike race, which is race #3 on the US Cup Pro mountain bike schedule. Saturday morning we went out to preride the 17 mile course, which turned out to be some of the best single track I have ever ridden. It was relatively flat with a lot of fast bermed turns, and a few rocks and roots. The race course started in a parking lot and lead us through some cyclocross like terrain through a park onto a road and leading into single track. There were two gravel road sections, the first was about 3/4 miles long and the second was a very long 5 mile climb. There were a few technical sections that could be ridden pretty fast... or slow and crash into some bigger rocks/trees/spectators. Overall, the course has been very well maintained and the endless bermed high speed turns made the course extremely flowy and enjoyable.

We decided to get to the race early, at about 7:15am to set up the GT tent and get everything ready. Apparently everyone else decided to get there way before that, which meant very little room to park and set anything up. There was no room to set up a work area, so the tent was set up over my car with room to hang our bikes on.

I spent about 30 minutes warming up before my race, and nearly missed my start time. I heard over the speakers "Men's Cat 1 19-29 starting in 1 minute," so I rushed to the start with 10 seconds to go. I started the race in dead last, out of 25 people. I was able to sprint past about 7 guys or so at the start to get some better positioning before we hit the single track. I reached down to get some water and realized my bottle disappeared.... great, I love dehydration. It was a long single file race for about 20 minutes until we reached the first gravel double track section, which ended up in a long pace line with a gap opening with 7 guys in the lead. I moved into the other lane and was able to pass the group to chase down the break before we got back into single track. Once in the single track I was caught up with the lead group. Once riding with them for a little while my chain fell off the big ring and got caught under the pin on my chain ring, tearing up my cranks and causing me to stop... which let everyone pass me again. After about 30 seconds of bending my chain back around the pin, and getting functional again, I was back on course... and then doing this again about 5 minutes later. Unfortunately the design of the 2x9 crankset and the chain rings won't catch my chain falling off and let me pedal it back on, only fuck everything up. Once we hit the long 5 mile climb I was able to open it up and pick more riders off again. The neutral bottle hand off saved my life half way up the climb... guzzled an entire bottle... which was a bad idea. The rest of the first lap I was able to bring back a lot of riders and make up some time. By the start of the second lap it was me and two other guys riding together, none of us knowing what position we were in, however one of the riders was the only 30-39 racer that passed us. Once reaching the big climb again he was able to pull away from us and I broke away from the other guy in my category, with no one else in sight. I should also mention that my seat post has been lowering more and more this whole race, by the time I reached this climb it was down 3 inches, making me ride like a little kid with my knee's bent, keeping me from producing very much power. The quick release on seat post clamp apparently can't clamp far enough to make up the tolerances in the shim for my undersized seat post. I just locked out my fork and spent a large amount of time standing up, hammering up the long climb... with still no one in view. Back into the single track I was able to open it up, railing all of the turns with my Maxxis Crossmark UST Tubeless tires hooking up like crazy. This tire selection was definitely the best idea i've made in a while. There were quite a few spectators in the last 5 miles of single track which was very encouraging, especially while they cheer and scream when you clear large sections of rock drops at a stupid hard trail destroying high speed. Towards the end of the race there was no one in view in front or back so I rolled through the finish... with no clue on where I finished.

Once the results were posted they showed me finishing 4th place at 2:28 , which I am pretty happy about considering my bad luck. The 3rd place finisher was only 1 minute ahead of me, the winner was only 4. These close times made me upset with how everything went down in the race. If I didn't spend the whole race trying to make up for the mechanicals, horrible start position, and battling my lowering seat, I really believe I could have cleaned up the race. But that's how racing goes, it was my first of the year, and first intense ride on my bike, so now I know what to work on. I still came out with $115, which I can't argue with.

We stayed and watched the women's and men's pro race, which was amazing. All the big riders were there, it was great watching them kill each other. Leaving at about 7pm, getting us back into Columbia at 5:30am on Monday. Overall, it was an awesome weekend, very well put on race, and I will definitely be doing it again next year.

Train train train

Posted on 4:26 PM by Schottler

My first week out of school and back to training ended with about 22 hours of riding. It consisted of a lot of gravel, a couple 5 hour solo rides, and a Tour de Parks with Green beans. I don't know how it happened, but he lead me on a long mountain ride from his house all the way out to Rock Bridge mainly on single track. You know someone has been riding a long ass time in Columbia when they take random turns, jump a curb, and back to mystery top secret single track. I will need to do some more of these so I can try and remember where the hell to go.

My legs seem to be done complaining, I did a few 10 minute intervals at the end of an Ashland earlier this week, which resulted in some more records. Apparently my lower back issue under intense efforts isn't gone... which isn't good. I need to figure out how to fix this soon. It's irritating when you watch your power drop and drop... along with the heart rate when you are trying to maintain the same effort, just because your lower back sucks ass.

I have ordered my new GT cross bike. I have big plans for it when it arrives... along with ordering a second as a pit bike.

Looks like I am going to Alabama by myself for the Bump N' Grind, which is fine, it will be a good time to relax.


Posted on 7:59 PM by Schottler

I have officially graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering. It is now time to start the training again... once I get over this cold that started the summer. I have lost some speed over the last few weeks, which have had some pretty low hours, along with sore and tired legs. Hopefully they are done complaining and I can get back into a training regimen. I have preregistered for the Bump N' Grind race in Alabama on May 31st. I will probably be traveling out there by myself, but hoping to find someone to come with me so I won't be bored. Either way, it will be a good trip and a good time to relax, along with one of the best mountain races in the country. Hopefully I will get some speed back by then, but we'll see. Rhett's Run in Columbia is the week after that, which I am super pumped for, since it's on my home turf.

I plan on racing until about the 24th of July, after the mountain bike national championships in CO, then start the base miles again and prepare for some cyclocross carnage.

More cancelled races

Posted on 5:39 PM by Schottler

So we have been constantly getting pounded by rain for a while now in Missouri, which has lead to numerous rained out races. This past weekend I was planning on racing at Castlewood in St. Louis, but it was canceled, just my luck. I've still been continuing my training plan and replacing these missed races with some high intensity efforts, so I will be ready to peak at the right time of the season. My next race is going to be Bump N' Grind in Alabama. This is supposed to be one of the best mountain races in the country, and is a Norba National, which will be a good experience. It will be on my birthday, May 31st, a good present to myself. If anyone wants to join me for a free trip to help out/race/keep me company than let me know.

As for the training, I made a rookie move today on our weekly training circuit race. I got lost and about pushed this guy into a dumpster. Actually, I couldn't stop looking at his fragile teenage boy figure and pounced on him.

The time has come...

Posted on 9:42 PM by Schottler

We all know Ethan has retired, and Butthead isn't getting any younger... or skinnier. He is definitely showing his age when he lets a rookie college student kick his ass on every ride. Refer to picture for the only real option left for these two. I can imagine the long weekend trips down the Katy Trail, pulling their trailer with cookies, brownies, and other old fat guy food.

The end is near...

Posted on 9:16 PM by Schottler

I will be graduating in a little more than two weeks, and these last few weeks are taking years out of my life. Our Capstone project, countless other projects, and countless presentations are totally stressing me out and getting in the way of having a consistent training plan. Right now all I am trying to do is get a ride in every day to maintain some fitness until I graduate and can focus a little better. I never got to race in Neosho a week ago, due to the fact I had a discrete math test the next day I needed to study for... which turned out to be a good decision since I didn't understand anything, so the whole day of studyfest payed off. I am very disappointed I haven't been able to race and am getting very ancy, but at the same time I am getting very stressed out with school and realize I need to put it first and get gradumated.

I did get a few mountain rides in last week to get used to my new bike on some of the tight and fast Missouri trails, and it is money. It is so fast, stiff, and fits me like a glove.... and it is true... we are getting married.

There is a race coming up this Sunday at Castlewood in St. Louis that I plan on doing... unless it is a huge mud fest or is pouring down rain, because I know I don't have a free day to dedicate to rebuilding it. We will see how it goes, I seem to screw up my first races of the year pretty bad, so I won't be taking the results very seriously.

Feelin stronger...

Posted on 8:15 PM by Schottler

So I finally started intensity training about 2 weeks ago, after about 4,000 base miles since the beginning of the year. I am feeling stronger than I ever have in the past, thanks to the 7 days a week of long long gravel rides on the cross bike in teens/snow/rain/wind. Now it is time to build up the intervals and improve the high end. According to my powertap, I have gained about 35 average watts over a 5 minute period, which is pretty significant. I have already broken numerous power records, with barely any intensity training. This data is making me pretty hopeful of having a successful season.

I am pretty disappointed I haven't been able to do a single race yet this year. I had a 6 hour race and a normal 1.5 hour race scheduled in April but they were both rained out. The next two possible races in my area were on, however I was in Moab Utah training. There are two more races this upcoming weekend, one is the 6 hour again and the other is a race down in Neosho, MO. Unfortunately my shop needs my help on Saturday and I won't be able to get off, but I plan on heading down to Neosho if it isn't pouring down rain. I am hoping for a good result.

Graduating from the University of Missouri is coming up quick... down to 4 weeks now. 30 hour work weeks, 20 hour riding weeks, and finishing up my classes and my capstone class leave me with very little time for anything. Thankfully I am almost there and I can focus more time on training and riding. Hopefully the race will be on this weekend..

Spring break, Moab Utah

Posted on 8:30 PM by Schottler

This was the 4th annual trip for the Mizzou Cycling team to travel to Moab Utah for spring break. If you haven't ever been out there, it has some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. But I have also discovered that there are some of the nicest roads to ride on. Our trip consisted of 3 cars carrying 9 people, with the Walt's Bike Shop trailer and about 15 bikes.

We took off Friday the 20th of March at about 6:30PM and did the 16 hour drive through the night and morning, arriving in Moab at about noon, with plenty of time to ride. However, the campsite we always stay at was reserved... along with nearly every other one around. So, we ended up going way up near the porcupine rim trailhead to find a good site. We camped Saturday, Sunday, and Monday night. We rented a condo for Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we could relax a little and get a much needed shower, and some good grilling. Thursday night we camped in Fruita, Colorado, in 20 degree's.
As for the riding, it was amazing. Ideally, the best bike to ride out there is a 5 inch all mountain bike with a slack head tube. About 90% of the cyclists in Moab are all mountain riders wearing baggies and camel backs looking forward to the crazy descents. I usually feel a little out of place wearing full Lycra while riding a hard tail, and usually get a lot of looks. However, those looks are usually while I am riding by all of them on the gnarly rocky descents. The GT rode amazingly well, the head tube is so stiff and solid it gives a very predicable ride, and the carbon has enough give and vibration dampening that it was amazingly fast and relatively comfortable.

Once camp was set up on Saturday, Lou, Brent, and I headed out to do Porcupine Rim, the maiden voyage of the GT. From the campsite, it was up and up and up and up, and then a pretty crazy and rocky decent. It is definitely a good way to learn how your bike rides, right on the edge of complete loss of control. On Sunday I decided to do a 5 hour road ride through the LaSal mountains. This ride has an initial climb of about 6,000 feet, followed by a very very fast decent. One section of road has about 10 straight minutes of 40+ mph speeds, which is something we don't always get to experience in Missouri. Besides the 30+ mph winds the entire ride, it was amazing. Monday and Tuesday we did some more good riding, including another porcupine rim ride with everybody. Wednesday was the big riding day for me, 7 hours in the saddle. I rode to the porcupine rim trailhead from our condo, which was in town, which is a LONG way up. I continued on the gravel to the LPS trailhead, which is a lot more climbing, eventually leveling off at the highest possible point, about 20 miles from town, all climbing. From here, I waited in the surprisingly cold snow showers (didn't plan on the cold, wearing full lycra) for the rest of the group to shuttle up. After taking the trail back to town, Lou and I rode the Amasaback trail, which had my favorite technical climbing of the trip, but the descent had a lot of hike-a-bike. Thursday and Friday were getting painful and the lack of sleep and not enough eating were starting to get to me. I lowered the effort and dropped the hours back for the last two days to keep from overdoing it, since it is so early in the season.

Besides the unusual cold weather, and the sand storm, the trip was blast. I recommend everyone go out there and try out the trails, and if you've already ridden it, go do it again. You can't ride in many better places in this world.

The Bike...

Posted on 7:42 AM by Schottler

My bike arrived March 19th... and I was to leave on the Mizzou Cycling spring break trip on the 20th. Of course, I had to bring the bike, because there is no better way to get used to a bike than a 30 hour riding week in Moab. The bike came set up very well out of the box, full XT with XTR shifters, Fox 32 fork with remote lockout (one of the best designs I have seen.) But I have always had a problem with building bikes up differently from stock to make them my own. A few changes were made.

I have replaced the XT cranks with an FSA K-Force Light 2x9 setup, with a 44/29 gearing setup, with a seperate 42 tooth depending on the course. These cranks are one of the stiffest and lightest on the market, with a ceramic BB, and shift very well. I have replaced the rear derailleur with an XTR shadow, and the front is also an XTR. The stem was replaced with a Thomson Elite X4, and the seatpost is Thomson Masterpiece set back. The bars were replaced with a Truvativ Noir Team. Fizik came out with a new mountain saddle that I just had to try out, the white Tundra with carbon braided rails, and I have to say it is one of the most comfortable I have ridden on, especially for long rides. I have a couple sets of wheels that I have been using that I can seem to part with. The first set is the Mavic Crossmax SLRs, which are the fastest and lightest wheels I have ever ridden, and are generally just used when racing. I built up my first set of wheels a couple of months ago that I have been using for training rides, which are red 28 hole Chris King hubs laced to Bontrager Race-X-Lite rims with red spoke nipples and DT Revolution spokes. As for pedals, I am using Time Atac Carbon.

I chose to go with an XL frame because the large Zaskar we have at my shop is a little short for me. At first glance and first stand over, I was afraid this frame was way too big for me, but after riding I have found it is a perfect fit, almost identical to my last bike which I am very used too. My first impression on the ride is how incredibly stiff the frame is, and how stout the front end is. There is no flex in the huge head tube, giving a very solid, stable, and predictable ride.

The maiden voyage of this beautiful bike was on our spring break trip, so I was really hoping everything would work perfectly, more to read on the trip later...

First blog post ever

Posted on 7:23 PM by Schottler

Well, I am very new to this blog thing, even though it has been around for quite some time. So to make up for some lost time, here's a rundown of 2009 thus far. I have been loading up the miles so far this year to prepare for the mountain season. Each week has averaged around 20 hours, riding 7 days a week with usually 1 day of active recovery. Unfortunately I have class every day and work 30 hours a week, so all of these rides have been at 6 or 7 am every day, in some nasty extreme cold. Thankfully Columbia has some amazing gravel roads, which I've found to be the most effective and enjoyable way of putting in the miles, so my cross bike has been ridden like crazy. I'll be starting some intensity training here pretty soon and according my powertap I am currently stronger than when I was peaking during last mountain season, which is encouraging since I have only been doing base miles with very limited intensity.

The biggest news of the year is me being taken up by GT to be part of the 39 person GT Dirt Coalition. I will receive a GT Zaskar Carbon Pro, riding apparel, swag, and a big 10x10 tent for races. I am very excited about this and can't wait to get the bike later this week and start riding it. I also plan on replacing the current cross and road bike with some of their new models, which are pretty sweet.

Two mountain races that I have planned for the year have already been cancelled, so it looks like I may be racing some road this weekend since the trails are all mud fests.