Wednesday, April 13, 2011


If I had to pick one standout quality that makes the Northwest a good place for maintaining a cycling career (amateur or elite), it would be variety. Of course, cycling lends itself to variety in the first place, regardless of the geographic setting. Since the last post I finished up the first road stage race of the season, the Cherry Blossom Classic in The Dalles, OR. Mechanicals kept me from being in the race, but since putting in the hard work, I'm already feeling the fitness benefits. If anything, it was a good chance to hang out with S&M/Kona teammates Sean Babcock and Luke Pennington. Check out Sean's super fast time trial bike:

Sean's Major Jake - a one-of-a-kind TT bike for the weekend. Sean, you are an animal!

The one-and-only Luke Pennington

With the Cherry Blossom miles soaked into the legs, a week of solid training back in Seattle ensued, fit with painful, freezing hail storms...

...some pleasantly sunny early-morning interval sessions before work...

some afternoon freeride sessions with friends... was the weekend again, and Sarah and I headed east to Ephrata, WA for the Beezley Burn XC. Thanks to Jake Maedke for putting on such a terrific event. Not only is Jake my kind of guy making it all happen with a full time job , he also puts on a great race weekend. Sunny and dry, short track on Saturday evening, followed by BBQ and free camping, and a great XC course on Sunday morning, AND a big cash purse! My races were made all the more enjoyable by my new team edition King Kahuna 29er . It was my first time ever on a 29er mountain bike, and by the end of the short track on Saturday I was sold. By the end of the cross country I was wishing I could have had it from the beginning of the season. In so many words, the 29er hard tail is high-speed machine. It rolls faster, climbs like a boss, corners confidently, and consequently, is good for winning races!

Start of short track...first ride on new bike...

on way to 1st place against local legend Russell Stevenson

at the XC start line...4 laps, 32 miles, Time 2hrs 14min

I took the win in the short track and cross country, and the course was excellent training for next weekend's race at Sea Otter. But the best part of the Ephrata weekend was watching Sarah do her first MTB race! After some of the rides we've done together, she could've handled a lot more than the single lap Cat 3 race, but it was a good place to start. She'd never admit her natural talent, so I can't help but talk about it for her. She would also have me admit that she was the only woman in the Cat 3 field, but I'll admit that she had the second fastest time overall.

S&M Young Guns teammate Patrick Means shredding

thanks for up...Sea Otter, Monterey, CA, April 15-17

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