Sunday, June 26, 2011

WORS Subaru Cup

After loading up the van, Scott, Kiera and I headed to the Subaru Wors Cup. We missed this race last year because I had injured myself and we didn't want to miss again, but Scott caught Kiera's cold earlier in the week and myself a day later. Since we'd already pre-registered we went anyway....

The course was fantastic! A lot of roots and rocks; terrain that reminded us a lot of Duluth. There were three more technical sections on the Pro course that I chose not to ride during my preride. Scott mentioned afterward that all three were "no problem and no big deal."

Our camping arrangements the night before the race proved to be a terrible mistake. There was an outdoor music concert on the campgrounds until 10 PM, then hollering kids until after midnight, etc. It wasn't too much difference from when Kiera was little in terms of lack of sleep. Scott had an especially bad night of coughing and being chilled. I didn't feel quite that bad, but am used to less sleep than he is. Ironically, Kiera had a fantastic night of sleep and didn't start coughing again until morning. She also was a little snuggle bunny in the morning so we could rest more.

I knew in my warm up that I didn't feel well. My legs were lethargic and I could tell my cold moved into my chest. Since we had come all this way, I decided to start anyway. I got a fairly good call up and relatively decent start. I could tell I was not climbing well and could have been a bit further up going into the first section of single track where the line stalled. I was in a line of riders and followed their lines through the three technical sections on the course, sections I did not ride the previous day. Other times I got buggered up by riders just ahead of me that would get caught up in sections of rock gardens. Overall, I was very pleased that I rode the technical sections better than I had been riding yet this year, but then bummed because after three laps I could tell my cold was moving further into my lungs and I was wheezing (I don't have asthma). I decided to be done at the end of lap 3 (of 5 and riding in about 12th place per Scott). Amy and Steve, both from Marquette area, along with local Duluthian, Josey, had some kinds words of encouragement after my DNF.

After my DNF, Scott decided not to even start his race. His cold was worse than mine at that point and he had run up and down the hill carrying Kiera during my race (he already got his race in for the day). We packed up the van and made it back to Duluth before dark. A bit of a disappointment after 11 hours in the car, but at least our family got to spend a lot of time together and it was really good to see a lot of our friends and other racers that we had not seen in a while. Don and WORS put on a great event. The course was one of the best National courses we have ridden.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Heat = 80s and sun... Sara on her way to beating the heat and a WIN!

More Heat... On the other hand, I'm on my way to a DNF

Back Home = 46 degrees and light mist... I had to grab my pants, jacket and hat to unload the car once we arrived home.

Today's weather = same as most days this spring - 47 degrees and clouds

I'm not sure how Sara is able to manage the temp swings from Duluth to (insert race venue here), but she does it. Yesterday she was able to give the finger to the Afton course (and mother nature) while it completely whipped me. I started off fine but anytime Jake or Devin would surge I would immediately wilt. It's hot for everyone, so I guess I'll have to head south and start riding in the sun/warm weather or set up the trainer in the sauna if I plan to finish humid, hot races.

It was a bummer that Chloe was unable to race at Afton because Sara was really looking forward to toeing the line with her (and Jenna for that matter). While Jenna was off at Nature Valley, Chloe was at Afton, but nursing an injury. Sara is constantly trying to guage her fitness but it isn't easy to do on the mountain bike based on all the variables and inconsistant women's field. She's excited to race the WORS CUP but she is also a little hesitant because she's not sure if she's got the form to do as well as she'd like. I'd say she is 99% certain she's doing it, however.

As for me, I'll probably do it too, but it is going to be ugly if it's hot and humid. I've got my fingers crossed for cold temps and lots of rain...

Friday, June 17, 2011

New KUHL Kits

Sara sporting the new kit

Kiera and I enjoy going to the aquarium now that school is out.

She really likes the boats and the slide.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Kiera at Park Point on my last day of school with students.

Mankato = Heat
Sara had a good day at Mankato all things considered. Since we've been riding in pretty cold conditions (40s - 60s) and Mankato was around 91 or 92 according to the Volvo; it was rough. Thankfully the Treks worked flawlessly even as we continue to dial them in. It's tough to get them just right since we also got new Bontrager shoes and XTR pedals. Furthermore, we don't have much time to ride trails, and when we do, they have been too wet up to this point so we have been adjusting the bikes at the races and hoping for the best.

Sara tried to follow Jenna on the first lap but went down hard, sliding out on the ski hill at speed. She pushed hard the whole time but Jena was flying and trying to make time up against Jenna on her home course wasn't going to happen. Jenna's time was fast enough for her to win the Comp men race so she was moving. Sara's time was fast enough to get second overall in the Comp men's race so both of them were going pretty good.

I tried to race but I knew during the warm up it was going to be a long day. My legs didn't respond on the climbs but I was still able to ride along in the 6th spot, about 30 seconds behind Sam O., for 4 out of 5 laps. Going into the fifth lap, I started to go backwards in a hurry and was just happy to finish the race.

On a side note, this is the first time I haven't DNFed at Mankato in about 8 years. It seems like it is always over 90 down here...

Up next for us will be Afton. I'm hoping for mud or at least temps in the 70s.