New Year, New Goals…

Welcome to 2018! Just like most people as we move into the new year, we look to understand what it is that we can do to better ourselves.  This year I see as a challenge.  I’m going to be moving into the 40+ category in my MTB racing.  I see this as an entire new set of challenges.  It’s not so much because I’m getting older, it’s because the guys that are racing in this category are super fast, mentally tough, and seem to live on their bikes.  I was able to spend my fair share of time on the podium last year see it in nearly every race I participated in.  I don’t know if that will be the case this year unless there is some serious dedication and a big preseason effort to prepare for the road ahead.

What does this all mean?  Well first, it means getting out more this winter.  It’s not always easy to get outside and ride when it’s below freezing, but it’s going to have to be done.  To start the year off on the right foot I got up before the sun and took a fat bike ride into the foothills.  I wanted to greet 2018 the best way I could.  First thing in the morning and with a smile on my face.

Next it means getting serious early this season.  How do you do that, by having an early season goal.  I’ve signed up for the True Grit Epic 50 in March.  A 50 mile race with over 6000′ of elevation is not something that you can just show up for.  I’ve been following an XC training plan that was created by Apex Coaching out of Boulder.  It’s putting me on the bike between 6.5 and 10 hours per week depending on the training load for that specific week.  Lots of work to raise the VO2 max and FTP in addition to keeping that ability to attack and recover from big efforts quickly. The fitness gained should help carry me into my MTB season strong and ready to hold my own.  Time will tell how this will work out, but it’s always better to go in with a plan than to just wing it…

For True Grit I will be flogging a new ride that really hasn’t gotten much love yet.  I was able to pick up a new bike in October, but with cross in full effect didn’t get to spend much time on it this fall.  I’m looking forward to giving it a good flogging in the rocky, technical desert of St. George UT.

I purchased a Rocky Mountain Pipeline and then pretty much discarded everything except for the dropper and suspension.  I built it up with all the components that I’ve come to love over the years.  Custom wheels built by the guys at Eastside Cycles that consist of 29er Nox Composite rims, DT240 hubs, and DT Race Comp spokes.  The drivetrain is based around an XTR crank, and Absolute Black 32T oval chain ring, and an E-Thirteen cassette.  The shifting is all XTR and brakes are XT.  To top it all off I had Jen Green create a mixed metal headtube badge that really showcases the heart of this beast. I still need to get photos of the headtube badge all mounted up…

This bike is a brute and I’m looking forward to getting rowdy on it.  I can’t thank the guys at Eastside Cycles enough for the care and effort put into this bike.  I know I can be pretty particular and they exceeded all my expectations.

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