On June 1, I raced in the C Race at Tuesday Night Worlds. This was my first time racing at Cardondelet and didn't really know what do expect. I felt really good and stayed with the lead pack for the whole 25 minutes, but didn't stay with a breakway that happened with three laps left. It was a lot of fun, I averaged 23 mph, felt really good, but there are two things I need to work on. One, I never took a drink, and two, I always lost a lot of speed on the tight corner.
Last weekend was the 11th annual Rhett's Run Mountain Bike Race in Columbia, MO. The days leading up to the race had a lot of rain and I knew the 4.5 mile course was going to be muddy. When I stopped in at Mesa on Friday, Dave Breslin said to have mud tires on the bike for the race. I took his advice and got some better tires. I got a 2.3 Specialized Eskar in the front and a 2.25 Maxxis Ardent in the back. Both are more All Mountain tires, but they were a huge help in the race.
Last Sunday, after I registered and got my shirt, I went out and pre-rode about 1.5 miles of the course. It was muddy, really, really muddy. The trail was rocky and rooty, but there was still muddy everywhere. This was a pretty big race for the Junior category; there were nice racers. After the start, I entered the singletrack near the back. The other juniors were sliding around and almost falling a lot on the muddy grass on the way to the singletrack. On the first downhill, they all started to bunch up. Soon after that, I started passing some of them on the first climb. For the rest of the climbs on that first muddy, slippery lap, I passed the other Juniors until I was in second. For the second lap, I kept up my pace and stayed in second. I rode most of this lap with a Marathon rider who flatted earlier in the race. I crossed the line in about an hour and 10 minutes. Pedaling through 9 miles of mud felt as hard as biking 20 miles on the road. I was happy with how I did, I felt pretty good overall and beat 7 other people. Hopefully the rest of the races will be more like Rhett's Run and have more than one other Junior.
The Greensfelder Challenge Mountain Bike Race was the first race near St. Louis since March 14 that hadn't been rained out. I typed up a mcuh more detailed recap on the Mesa Racing site. You can read that here: http://www.mesacyclesracing.com/2010/05/greensfelder-challenge-recap/
My friend and neighbor down the street, Mr. Sloan, recently gave me his old road bike. It is a Willier Triestina Izoard. I had never heard of Willeir before, but they are an Italian company who has been making handmade bikes for 100 years. It's a really nice bike. The components are all great, and it is all carbon fiber. The carbon makes it super light; it weighs 5 lbs. less than my CX bike and 10 lbs. less than my 29er. On the road, it is really fast and a lot of fun to ride. Here are some pictures:
Today, I raced in the Tour of St. Louis's Delmarvelous Crit. The crit was near downtown St. Louis on Delmar and Martin Luther King Blvd. We woke up earlier and got there around 6:50, but the organizers, Big Shark weren't ready for registration for a while. I got my derailleur blocked out and rode a couple of laps. The course was a 0.8 mile rectangle. Since it was raining, there were puddles all over and the corners were pretty wet. The side of the course with the Start/ Finish was a smooth downhill, the other side was a rougher, wetter climb into the wind. Besides being wet and cold it was also really windy. Winds were in the low 20's gusting up to 32 mph. They were a little late starting the race. I was in second after the first two corners and then two more juniors pulled away. In a lap or two, I was with two Columbia Bike Club people. I stayed with them for the whole race. I pulled away from them on the last two corners, but got passed by one of them right before the finish line. Still, it was a fun race. Pretty soon, mountain bike racing around St. Louis will start to pick up. Greensfelder and Rhetts Run in May, and four races in June: two at Castlewood, one at Bromelsiek, and the rescheduled Lost Valley Luau.
Today, I picked up my new road bike from Mesa Cycles. I ended up getting a Specialized Tricross Sport. I really like because I can ride it a road bike during the spring and summer. Then when fall comes around, I can race cyclocross on it. Right after I picked it up, I took it for its first real ride. I rode from Mesa up Clayton Road to Forest Park. I rode around the outside loop of the park twice. Wow, the road bike is so much faster and easier to pedal than my mountain bike. I rode a total of 15.66 miles. I don't have a cycling computer on it yet, but I'll be getting on soon. Now, I can do a lot more riding on the road. That'll get me in a lot better shape for mountain bike racing. Since the Lost Valley Luau was postponed, it looks like the River Trails Mountain Bike Race in Lawrence, KS on April 10th.
My name is Ben. I love to read, hike, backpack, mountain bike, rock climb, and mountain bike race. Since there are so many great hikes in Missouri, I decided to make a website to describe them.
The Mountain Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29er. I've upgraded all the original parts, went 1x9 and dropped 5lbs from the stock bike.
My Road Bike
I have Willier Izoard for road riding and racing.
My CX Bike
I ride a 2010 Specialized Tricross
2010 Race Results
River Trails Mountain Bike Challenge (Kansas)
1st Junior 15-18
Tilles Park Crit
5th Juniors 10-18
5th Juniors 15-18
1st Juniors 15-18
2nd Juniors 15-18
2009 Mtb. Race Results
ICCC Castlewood Race
5th Beginner 19 and under
5th Beginner 19 and under
Burning at the Bluff
3rd in Burnin Virgins Category