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Race Prep

Race Prep

All the training I've done that will help me is already done. (Or, in my case, not done.) My one and only goal is not to finish last. I feel like I have a decent shot at achieving that.

The race lineup was posted this week, and I feel like there are 4-5 guys who are right around my level. I'm certainly not much stronger than I was at Aliso, and I'm hoping they're not either. If they've all been doing Over the Hump, I'm screwed.

So today the bike got one final tune-up. A general cleaning, fresh Stan's in the tires, and a clean & lubed drive train. I also removed the rear water bottle, which should make me 0.04 seconds faster. So if I win by 0.03 seconds, we'll all know it's because I'm fast and smart.

Monday and Wednesday I'll do shake-out rides to stay loose and flush out any lurking problems with the bike, and then we'll see just how old I got this year.

Gear Notes

Chain: I love the KMC chain. Their "missing link" setup makes it incredibly easy to pop the chain on & off the bike, which makes cleaning and lubricating that much easier. It also hasen't exploded on me, which is nice.

Shifters: My new SLX shifters are awesome. Light action, crisp shifting. I especially like being able to push the release triggers with my thumbs. Sounds like a little thing, but there are plenty of spots on local trails (and trails everywhere, I assume) where I'm braking hard and need to drop to the bottom ring. This lets me do that: index finger on the brake, thumb shifting down a ring. No more "quick let go of the brake to shift then hope I grab it again in time to make this turn and start cranking up a 20% lead-in." It's just "Yep. Transition time. Hit the thumb."

Fork: I'm finally at the point where I hate my old Marzocchi fork. It's just horrible. I'm so done with it. I was standing up to climb a short hill, and the bike was bobbing all over the place, and I thought, "I should hit the lockout." I reached down and it was already locked out. Feh. And it doesn't help that a comparable Fox fork is about 1200g lighter, and has a real lockout, and can be upgraded with a remote lockout, and performs far better, and is easier to maintain.

Drink Mix: I really wanted to try some CarboRocket 333 for this race. But I screwed up. I couldn't get the CR333 in time for Saturday's ride, so I just ordered some Skratch mix, which then didn't arrive in time for Saturday's ride. Once again, the moral to the story is to order as soon as you know what you need.

Every Bit Helps: I removed the back bottle cage from my bike (61g), and I'll leave my saddle bag behind for the race. Total savings: ~550g.

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