|Looking tough makes you fast right? Photo from pdxflint|
At PIR I was sitting in 6th place in the B's and had a explosive failure of my carbon seatpost upon remounting. Luckily I kept the bike upright and had not impaled myself. But trying to maintain my position was another matter. I had to ride through tight turns and off cambers and an uphill section all out of the saddle as I no longer had a saddle. This lead to a fade of 4 spots as I fought and sprinted to keep 10th. Not bad considering no saddle and I didn't let my bike try to mate with me.
Washington County Fairgrounds last weekend was another dry course with long straight aways. I attacked myself into a hole right off the gun going from 4th on the first lap and fading a position or two a few laps in. By the last lap I was in 8th place and being over taken going into the barriers when I forgot how to unclip. Luckily the guy right behind me was wearing a helmet camera and caught my stupidity. (I am still looking for that video.) I decided that I was going to let camera man from Trusty Switchblade beat me so I chased hard coming into the twisty 180 degree switchback section of the course. Here I used my body and bike handling to squeeze around camera man. This lead him into a fence but he was ready for this game and push right back sending me towards a tree at the next corner. We traded very physical barbs through another 5 or 6 turns and fought all the way to the line. In the end I prevailed over camera man and he conceded for 9th place. We shook hands afterwards and I invited him over to our team tent to have a Ninkasi Beer (compliments of Ninkasi). I am still looking for him to post that video but I think it will be entertaining.
My last part of this write up is about breaking bike parts and learning to dial in my own bike. I do bike fitting as a physical therapist but often stop my adjustments at fit. Also its hard to be precise and bike fit yourself. That being said I had to put on a new saddle and seatpost after PIR and was reminded why you need to play with your fit. I rode around with my saddle too low and felt the good old quad burn. I have to be careful as this was a symptom of knee pain for me in the past so know your bike position feel, and if its not right have someone who knows the human body take a look.
Tensegrity Physical Therapy, my work in Eugene has been a great host to the team and the Tensegrity principles often apply to the bike as well as people. For instance after finishing my race, I like a donkey drove over my Mavic training wheelset. (I was sure they were done for). But this was a great lesson for me, I learned to tru my wheels. Truing wheels is like fixing people, you need to add or decrease tension in certain areas to make the wheel roll straight, or make a person function optimally.
P.S. Keep an eye out for us race 5 and 6 in Bend, we will have another tasty Ninkasi Keg there for all you non Deschutes people.