If you haven’t noticed, there is a banner across the top of the site for the Ruts and Guts weekend, the 2nd weekend of November. I’ve done the races the last couple years and it is a great weekend of races with a super healthy pricelist. The banner is clickable, so if you think you might have the ability to make it, check it out.
I’m heading to the Berryman Epic this morning. I’m really in no real form to race, but I have to restart, again, somewhere. Nothing like a 56 mile, rocky singletrack MTB race for starters. I love the seclusion of riding in the woods for such long periods without seeing a soul. It is refreshing and helps me sort through lost thoughts. There are about 350 riders doing it, so there will definitely be a party afterwards.
The St. Louis UCI cross races are also Saturday and Sunday. If I have any extra energy, I might go there on Sunday, probably to just watch, but will probably throw my cross bike into the van just in case. I am still sore from the cross clinic I did last Sunday in Dallas. I can’t imagine how wasted I’m going to be after Saturday.
I had an all day affair yesterday with my MTB bike. It was pretty much the worst case scenario for everything. My tires sealed up good, but after that, it went downhill. I put on a new chain and my cassette skipped. So I put on a new cassette and that fixed it. My front was rigid for Chequamegon, so I had to put back on a shock fork. My XTR brakes are side mount and I need post mounts. I have a XO brake that is post mount, but when I put in new pads, I can’t get it to work. I’m not a big fan of Avid/Sram disc brakes. I finally just stole the Shimano SLX brake off her new BMC MTB bike. It worked great.
I went riding late in the afternoon and when I put pressure on my cranks, my chain skipped on the big ring. I didn’t realize it was so wasted. I didn’t have a new ring, so I had to change the whole crankset and bottom bracket. So, I did exact what I tell everyone else not to do before a race, change your components. I changed just about all mine. I’m going to ride a hour or so on the course this afternoon, so it should be enough to sort out any potential issues.
There are 2 places on the course where I can get extra tubes, air, etc. I’ve flatted as many as 4 times in this race before. The last two years I haven’t flatted once, knock on wood. Once you put in a tube, you are destined to keep putting in more tubes. The rocks are too sharp and the speed is too high not to keep pitching. I’ve got a lot of sealant in my tires and pretty sturdy tires too, so I hope to make it through the race without incident.
Okay, better go pack up the van. I’m picking up my team-mate, Brian Jensen, in Lawrence on the way. Brian was 12th in Leadville, but this ain’t no Leadville. He needs to get the experience of riding on rocky singletrack. No better way than doing it in competion.