Monday, July 09, 2012

Great Hawk Chase

Sara and Jenna Rinehart go 1 and 2

Brendan taking the top step (like usual), Jesse Rients (2nd) and me (3rd)

A confidence building weekend for the KJs. Sara has been on and off this spring with race fitness but it appears she is coming around. She can go really fast, and I mean really fast when we ride in Cable, Duluth or elsewhere, but then come race day, her legs will feel sluggish or she just doesn't feel like she can "give it" for whatever reason. Obviously, that wasn't the case yesterday and she was able to push pretty hard from start to finish in what turned out to be a very hot day by our standards (even if it wasn't bad according to Brendan or other central/southern folks' opinions:) ).
Sara and Jenna took off from the start and they entered the first section of single track with a gap. Sara entered first, got a gap, pegged it, and slowly increased her lead. Sara sure enjoys racing with Jenna because if she can race with her, she knows she is going good.

Thanks to Jesse for leading out the train all the way to first section of singletrack. I was happy to sit on Devin's wheel for most of the trip up and then jump around him and Jesse to follow Brendan into the singletrack. I had false hopes of riding with Brendan but he is so strong that he easily rode me off his wheel on the set of three punchy climbs. I had to slow down to recover and Jesse rode back up to me, said we had a gap and to keep going. Jesse is also quite strong and it took everything I had to keep him within site on the climbs. For the first couple of laps I would lead on the downhills and Jesse would set pace on the climbs. I started to cramp a little early in the third and could no longer match Jesse's pace. I knew I had to to work as hard as possible though on the last lap because Luke Nelson (4th overall) was behind me. Luke flew by me at Mankato earlier in the year and I figured he was planning to do the same here.

The 2.0 XR1 tires worked perfectly, squealing on many of the rocks and bridges. I also ate a ton of Hammer Endurolytes along with adding a the Endorolytes Fizz to each bottle.

Thanks to Dean Gies from the SKIHUT for doing hand-ups and to COGGS for putting on a great event.

Up next: Buck Hill

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Warm Up for Great Hawk Chase

I am busy getting the roof back in shape after the Memorial Day hail storm. Charlie Farrow helped me tear it apart on Tuesday, which just happened to be our hottest day of the summer so far. Today we will begin putting shingles down. Thanks to Mike Haag from Haag Built Fine Carpentry, I am able to tackle projects like this with his help. Plus, Mike is always good at getting me good and tired before hometown races.

Sara and I rode a couple of laps on yesterday and the trail is in great shape. In fact, it is in better shape than before the deluge. New bridges have been installed, the trail is weed-whipped and now has some moisture in it, allowing the tires to grip nicely. In addition, for those of you south of Duluth, it sounds like you will be able to race in KUHL conditions and escape the heat this weekend if you make the trek up to Duluth.