MTB vs. Road Prep

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Okay, getting reading for a MTB race takes way more energy than preparing for a road race. Like, a ton more.  Especially when you haven’t been doing it constantly and are trying to get back up to speed on a lot of things.

The equipment issues are way more energy intensive.  Sometimes changing MTB tires, tubeless, can take nearly as long as it does to glue on tubular road tire, depending on what wheels and tires you are using.  Plus, you wear out so much more equipment.  I’d forgotten how much equipment you go through racing and training off-road.

Back when I first started, Shimano was just getting into dominating the MTB market.  At every Norba National I went to, they would virtually change all the components on my bike.  It was a little disconcerting, but their mechanics were top-notch and I never had any issues.

For sure, later on, after each and every race, I would change all the cables and housing on my bike.  It pretty much didn’t matter whether it was a super muddy race like Mt. Snow, or a dust cloud such as Mammouth.  The cables got contaminated and the bike didn’t work properly.

This isn’t addressing how much time you have to spend at the venue, trying to know the course. I have only been over to Leadville 4 times since I got to Colorado.  I pretty much know all the climbs and all the technical descents.  But, I’m missing the middle connection between the start and the turn-around.  I road it one direction, so know there isn’t any surprised there, but I have never ridden it all.  I guess that is normally the cause when you go to a 100 mile MTB race.  In Lutsen, I’d only ridden the last few miles at the finish.

Leadville, being at such high altitude makes it hard for low-landers to have a good race.   I think I’m acclimated, but not really to 12000 feet.  I felt pretty good recovering down in Arvada the last few days at 5500 feet.  I’m back in Silverthorne, at 8600 and feel it walking up the stairs.  Still having to hang out somewhere from between a week to a month, for one day of racing takes a lot of time and energy.  But, Leadville is special in this regard.  If it wasn’t such high altitude, then that time would be saved.

Anyway, it is going to start getting busy here today.  I’m heading over to Leadville to register. Kent and Katie hopefully have a couple more parts for me to put on my bike.  Some new brakes. I normally don’t mess around so much with my equipment right before a race, but feel the need to now.  Vincent is letting me use a new Valor carbon front wheel that weighs next to nothing. I’ll ride it the next two days to make sure I’m good.

Trudi showed up last night.  She drove from Park City here late in the afternoon.  She took a couple days off and has to go back to work after the race on Saturday.  Luckily, the start of the Pro Challenge is just an hour and a half away, in Steamboat Springs.  Her sister’s family is in Vail on summer vacation, so she headed over there this morning to go for a hike and hang.

Vincent went to Vail too, to ride motorcycles with Karl, Stacie’s husband.  They are going to be at Leadville, feeding us.  I think they are going to ride from Vail, over Resolution Road and down to Leadville today to check out the best way to get around there.

I assume I’ll end up at Vail eventually today, since that is where everyone else is.  Probably for dinner, I suspect.  It is supposed to rain this afternoon, here in the mountains, so I should probably try to ride earlier than later.

Okay, T-2 days now.  I feel alright, so that’s a good sign.  Check out Alban Lakata’s “training ” ride form last week.  Photo below.  That is nearly a minute faster than he did the race in 2014. He won Leadville in something ridiculous like 6:04 in 2013, so maybe 6:29 is just tempo pace for him.

I took nearly all the parts off my bike last night.  It's back together again though, which makes me happy.

I took nearly all the parts off my bike last night. It’s back together again though, which makes me happy.

Compound from above this morning at 7 am.

Compound from above this morning at 7 am.

BMC got new Acura team cars this year.  I brought Trudi her bike so she could ride some today.

BMC got new Acura team cars this year. I brought Trudi her bike so she could ride some today.

I used Caffélatex in my rear wheel, but ran out, so used Orange Seal in my front.  I have been running super low pressure in my rear wheel, like 18 psi, just messing around and haven't flatted once since I got out here.  I've probably ridden 300 miles off-road, I'd guess.   I've seen a couple wet spots on the tire, but this seems to seal them super good.

I used Caffélatex in my rear wheel, but ran out, so used Orange Seal in my front. I have been running super low pressure in my rear wheel, like 18 psi, just messing around and haven’t flatted once since I got out here. I’ve probably ridden 300 miles off-road, I’d guess. I’ve seen a couple wet spots on the tire, but this seems to seal them super good.

I think you're always bleeding just a little when training and racing MTB.

I think you’re always bleeding just a little when training and racing MTB.

Alban's "training" ride.  He did stop for 4 minutes or so.  Probably to open and close the cattle gates.

Alban’s “training” ride. He did stop for 4 minutes or so. Probably to open and close the cattle gates.

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “MTB vs. Road Prep

  1. Jim Ochowicz

    Nice Acura product placement in your little blog but you forgot to include the BMC PR talking points. Tomorrow…Fizik saddles. Check your inbox for what I’d like you to say about them

     
  2. mike crum

    steve, “Vincent is letting me use a new Valor carbon front wheel that weighs next to nothing”. as wealthy as you are, why dont you have sets of these??

     
  3. Paul Boudreaux

    Don’t know which is more crazy – Lakata’s average 133 HR going that fast or the fact he hit 53.9mph – I guess they go hand in hand given all the downhill

     
  4. Chris Froome

    Hey Cycling Fans and Mr. Tilford! Chris Froome Famous Tour de France champion, here! This post got me reminiscing about my MTB past and the first time I let my own blood, but it also got me looking toward a better future with me as the Self-Appointed Spokesman for Cleanish Cycling! I saw that trickle of blood down your arm and it brought back memories of doping…yes that was hours ago…this morning’s pre-ride transfusion, in fact…. anyway, after my much needed shower, after my 5 hr, 409.8 avg. watt training ride (Max Heart Rate was 159bpm!!!- GO TEAM SKY!!!!!) transgressions like that trickle of blood down the drain like the dark ages of the doping past. This is why I give my support and backing to track and field stars Mo Farah and his “experienced,” coach Alberto Salazar in their decision to release Farah’s blood data to blunt the real ARD documentary naming them among many secret track and field dopers. That’s spot on deflection and redirection! As the new Clean, Earnest, Smiling Spokesman for “Cleanest We Can Manage,”(TM) Pro Cycling, I just want to commend this up front approach which is why I personally attest to full transparency and pledge to release my own physiological information, which is to say, once again here publicly, that Team Sky and I, along with British Cycling, want to go on the record about our many hundreds of thousands of dollars spent towards the betterment of cycling and ANTI doping which is where a lot of those donation dollars are going to beat these damn 24 hour tests- that’s got to be expensive! But, again, in my personal opinion as the Spokesman for Cleanishmost Cycling 110% Real”I want to reiterate a new goal of discussion of track and field and how this other sport has actually copied our strategies in the press. Let’s face it, the other sports are dirty and we are better because of our attention to anti doping and clean sport (think JV and Tommy D- who knew their partial confessions echoed the partial honesty of their anti doping professions that fueled their new teams). The way that track and field has copied our model of coming out ahead of the press reports to promise to show our physiological data that we want to release in order to better know thyself is noteworthy, but, full transparency, not like JV and Tommy D who obviously lied- I just want to say that they copied us and that’s just not cool or authentic… Once and for all Team Sky and British cycling don’t need doping of the past- that particular treatment is only going to last another 14 hours and I need to get my legs up. Team Sky is clean and we need big anti-doping dollars to stomp out the past and portions of the present, as we know it- starting with allowing me to have the RV back and I’m also super ANTIDOPING regarding these 24 hour tests. (Portions of this post directly lifted from Sir David Brailsford’s, I mean my, Position Statement As The Self-Appointed Spokesman for Cleanly Cycling).

     

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