Becoming a roadie one race at a time

Posted on 7:33 PM by Schottler

The Cannondale is finally together after what seemed to be an eternity of waiting for each individual part to come in. I was planning on racing Lost Valley but discovered it was cancelled due to rain. Which sucks, I was really looking forward to my first mountain ride of the year. I knew there was a crit on Sunday at Forest Park, but I wasn't too interested in having my first Pro/1/2 crit (3rd crit ever) be in the rain.

Friday and Saturday night I binged pretty hard on some delicious chocolate chip cookies and half a container of rainbow sherbet... pretty sure I wasn't going to race. However I woke up Sunday with somewhat sore legs from a pretty hard Friday and Saturday ride and a big desire to go race and rip them off some more. So I drove to St. Louis at the last minute.

(Dan Schmatz, David Henderson, me, Justin Maciekowicz)

There were about 30 people or so in the race, and thankfully it quit raining right when we started. I wasn't sure what to expect in the race, but I had cyclocross type effort running through my head, but this really wasn't the case. Teammates David Henderson, Jason Ozenberger, and Dan Miller were there in the race as well. After a bit, a 10 man break formed with me, Henderson, Butthead, Dan Schmatz, Justin Maciekowicz and some others I don't know too well yet. The break wasn't working well together, no one wanted to work and it was difficult to get away. With about 5 laps to go Justin took off and built up about a 30 second lead. With 3 to go I got on the front and put on a moderate acceleration up the one small hill and looked back and had about 5 bike lengths on the person behind me, so I punched it. No one in the break was doing much work and it didn't seem like anyone wanted to chase, so I figured this would be a good move and might get away to the finish, especially if I got to Justin quickly so we could work together. I had him in my sights and was reeling him in. Coming in to 1 lap to go, right behind Justin, I looked back and saw Schmatz barreling down so I sat up and got in the back of the group to recover for the sprint. Coming in to the last turn to the finish 2 guys in front of me sat up and took the turn way slow, which screwed me over since I had to go around them and chase down everyone sprinting to the finish. I managed to catch most and finish in 4th. Teammate David Henderson managed to take the win... right after winning the Master's race.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with the result but still disappointed with that last corner, I had plenty more juice in the tank for that sprint. However, my running off the front and forcing Schmatz to chase me down wore him out enough to slow down his strong sprint, allowing Henderson to take the win.

My New Baby

Posted on 10:01 AM by Schottler

After much anticipation, the new mountain bike has finally arrived.

This is from the first batch of Flash 29 Carbon bikes to hit the streets, so pictures of these still haven't really made their way on to the internets. Thanks to Musselman, the bike arrived when he said it would, just in time for racing season.

I was impressed with how well equipped the bike was out of the box, Cannondale seems to know where to put the right stuff. XO shifters/rear derailleur, XT front derailleur, Elixir brakes 185/160, XT cassette, KMC chain, Stans ZTR Arch/rims to DT 240 hubs, and a nice Fizik saddle. However, if you know me, I can't leave anything stock. I ordered an XX kit and threw it on, along with a 570 gram Cannondale 2x10 crankset which is still on order. Also thanks to Ergon for the GX2 team series carbon grips, which are the best grips I have ever used.

The frame is full carbon with continuous carbon fibers, and a 2.5 lb carbon lefty fork, which feels really solid. The tube shapes are constantly varying throughout the bike, it is obvious that Cannondale did their homework and plenty of finite element analysis to optimize each section of the tubing for high strength and low weight. The bike as shown weighed in at 19.8 lbs. With the new cranks, taking the tubes out, lighter Fizik Arione saddle on order, lighter and slightly more narrow bars, xx front derailleur, and 4ti candy pedals, the bike should be in the 19-20 lb range. Which is far lighter than any mountain bike I have ridden or owned. However the real test will come when I get to take it to the trails, if it ever stops raining. The Superfly was the best handling and fastest mountain bike I have ever raced by far, I have high hopes for this being a rocket.

As for the training, I have been having SI joint pain on most of my rides... well actually all day long. It's become more consistant, so I figure the best thing to do is take a short break from riding and pilates. I am taking off this weekend, monday, and tuesday. I can already feel it getting better, since I can now walk without limping, and can get out of bed without screaming. I will start riding again on wednesday with low intensity/high cadence rides down the katy trail, and learn some more about effective stretches to prevent this from happening again... and I might even start running to strengthen some of the stabilizing muscles that have become weak with my inability to do anything other than pedal. I was still seriously considering racing today on the Superfly, but I don't think it would be smart to seriously injury myself at the first mountain race of the year... there are plenty more.