Misc Observations

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First, I’d like to give a big congratulations to Cameron Chambers, Kansas local MTB honch, who thoroughly spanked the field at the US Mountain Bike 24 hour Nationals last weekend in Colorado Springs. He is also National Champion in single speed MTB cross country. Cameron lapped the field. so he won in 21:30 minutes, a full hour and a half ahead of 2nd place. I wouldn’t really know, but it must be pretty great not having to ride the last 2:30 hours of a race like that. Here’s an article.

How about the article at Cyclingnews.com about Alberto Contador looking forward to a 2 month vacation after his “season”. The guy only started racing in August, after serving a “2 year” suspension. I don’t have any idea how he could be so mentally and physically exhausted that he is going to take a month and a half off.

Yesterday I hiked about 11 miles. All at altitude. I am pleasantly surprised that I am not completely crippled from the endeavor. Normally I would be. I think the reason is that I used hiking poles yesterday and they “saved” my legs on the down hill. Hiking with poles almost seems like cheating. But, it’s a good way to ease your way into it without destroying your leg muscles.

Speaking of altitude, I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem like it affects me as harshly it used to. I’d have to say, racing here in the US, that altitude played a huge, maybe the most important role, in how I finished in many important races. When I started racing, the biggest race of the season, by far, was the Red Zinger/Coor’s Classic. The race got up to a couple weeks long and nearly all the stages were at altitude. Just when the biggest road races left altitude, the Dupont Race, etc., I had switched to MTB racing primarily, and nearly every NORBA National was at altitude once again. And usually at very high altitude.

But, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to kill me like it used to. I haven’t raced at altitude at a big event, but just training, hiking and doing manual labor stuff seems way easier than before.

I think I’m going to have to do a blood test to see what’s up. It’s not like I have any ability to chance anything, it’s just nice to know every so often.

I’m flying home this afternoon. I plan to ride tomorrow. That was 8 out of 9 days off. I have no idea if it was enough time off. Definitely not the 1 1/2 months Alberto is taking. I think I feel a little better. My chest does for sure, so maybe this “rest” helped there. I’ll guess I’ll see when I start riding again.

About half way up, with poles.

The hiking poles are pretty light and adjustable in height. I wonder if this would work for x-country ski poles?

The fire tower at the very top of the ridge.

You can sign up and stay at the fire tower observation. I think you have to take a short course and then obviously hike up to it. How cool would that be spending the night here?

4 thoughts on “Misc Observations

  1. Zach T.

    I did a 30 mile two-day hike on the Pacific Crest and Tahoe Rim Trail a few weeks ago. I was powering up the climbs and could have gone up them faster if it wasn’t for my hiking companion who wasn’t used to the altitude. The descents, though, killed me. My bud is a regular runner and was moving so much faster downhill than I could muster. My right knee and both ankles hurt bad afterward, but ibuprofen fixed that quickly. I was in rough shape for days.

  2. Martin

    AC was effectively 6 months off I think.
    In which he trained his butt off.
    Hard to argue with the most succesful active stage racer.

  3. Brad Carvey

    Just did a 50k run that started at 9,500 ft and went up for the first 3 miles. At 21 miles there was another 3 mile uphill to 11,300 ft. Finally, a 1 mile climb at 29 miles. Almost everyone hikes this kinds of climbs. Cyclists are great at this kind of power hiking uphill for long distances, but they suck at going fast down steep hills. Downhill running is the key to running ultras. You go to fast on steep downhills to use poles.


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