What/Where to Race?

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This season has been pretty much a bust for me. I went into shoulder surgery pretty naïve figuring when I was told 6 weeks, I’d be riding in 4 and good to go in 8. That wasn’t close to the case. It’s nearly 5 months now and I can barely lift my arm over my head some days and there are tons of motions that I just can’t do as of yet.

That being said, I’ve also thrown myself on the ground some more, chopped myself with a chainsaw and have done various other things that have made racing difficult.

Anyway, I need to get a focus on what I want to do competitively the next couple months. Right now it seems my best form, which isn’t anywhere near my “best form”, is for MTB riding. I seem to have okay power sitting, climbing and really enjoyed getting my skill set back riding singletrack a couple weeks ago.

The only problem with this is that my right thumb is still jacked from crashing. This gamekeepers thumb thing got a lot better the first week and now is just in a steady state of pain. I can ride on the road, but it bothers me a lot. I’m pretty positive that there isn’t much medically that can be done with it. I’ve screwed it up a few times and every time I go to the doctor, it is the same thing. Maybe a cortisone injection would help reduce the inflammation, I don’t know. I don’t think I can screw up the tendon anymore than it is, since it isn’t attached anyway.

So, if my thumb stays bad, that probably rules out cross for a bit. Plus, it’s way too hot in most places to race cyclo-x. Cyclocross is a winter sport, even though we’ve pushed it to late summer, early fall now. I really don’t like going cross races and have the temperature be in the 80’s or worse 90’s. It just doesn’t seem right.

I was planning on racing the Crusher in the Tushar a couple weeks ago in Utah. Gravel road racing with horrendous climbs sounds fun. But, I crashed in Madison at Elite Road Nationals and really wasn’t prepared to head half way across the country to compete.

I’m glad I missed that one anyway. I’m really not big on lining up with Levi Lepheimer for any reason. I’m not sure why exactly, but out of all the US guys that “went down” with Lance, he is the one guy that bugs me the most. Like I said, I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because he sort of did the Lance thing on Floyd and made up a bunch of lies about him. Or maybe it is because he went to Leadville and beat up on Dave Wiens. Or maybe because he jumped into a MTB race when he was officially suspended. I’m not sure exactly, but for some reason he seems the least remorseful about the whole deal and he current actions just back it up more. So, Levi setting the record doesn’t seem squat to me. About the same as his Leadville record.

I got diverted there. So, back to a schedule. I obviously need to race so more to get some form back. Next weekend there are some criterium choices. The is a good race up in Des Moines, the East Village Criterium. It’s around the Iowa Capitol Building and has a climb each lap. There is also Elk Grove, which is only 2 criteriums for the 1/2’s. Leadville is still in the back of my mind, but that might be a stretch.

What I really need is a nice hilly road race. Maybe I’ll spend some time on the computer this morning and scout one out.

Below is Levi’s post race interview. It is perfect, I’m hearing exactly what I wanted to hear about his race.

21 thoughts on “What/Where to Race?

  1. Larry Yancey

    I had the same injury last year on my right hand. I ended up switching to the new Sram 10 speed grip shift in order to shift my bike.

  2. Robo

    I would love to see you do Leadville! That would be awesome. But you’ve repeatedly said that you’re no good at altitude, and I don’t know of too many other races that are higher than Leadville. So that doesn’t seem to be a fit. But nevertheless, I’d love to see you take that on.

  3. josh

    I just converted my sram trigger shifter 1×9 to the GripShift due to some hand cramping the last hour of the marathon style mtb races. Live it so far. Shifting is crisp and quicker than trigger. Maybe more responsive is better word, with very little effort. It was a cheap conversion. 30 bucks for right/rear shifter. Bike shop discount price for XO grip shifter…

  4. Kris

    I don’t he (Levi) or Lance “beat up” on Dave Wiens. Considering Wiens was in his mid forties at the time, I think these guys on PEDs only proved how weak they really were squeaking one by on a masters athlete.

  5. Christopher

    “Right now it seems my best form, which isn’t anywhere near my “best form”, is for MTB riding.”

    Ore to Shore, baby!! August 10.

  6. Mark

    Levi is still just as dirty today in my opinion. It’s no different then when a racer is doped to the gills during the off-seanon or in between races (assuming he’s not caught in OOC testing) then shows up on the start line clean and crushes everybody. He’s a different rider today because of the increase training voluume and increased race speed that he was only capable of doing while doped in the past.

  7. Doug

    I agree with Larry…I had real problems with my right thumb, with pain shooting all the way up my arm. I went to single speeding and the pain went away. Avoid trigger shifters. Give the thumb a break.

  8. jeff

    Yeah, and I’d see no reason to not suspect that he STILL cheats. Is he even still on the tested list? I doubt it. GO AWAY LEVI!

  9. NRG

    If you’re looking for some serious climbing why don’t you come out to the Eastern Sierra Nevada for the Mt Whitney SR (8/10-11) or the Everest Challenge (8/24-25) ??

  10. CW4

    I have to agree with the comment about Levi. I did the Crusher – and I highly recommend it – you should do it next year, and it was kind of weird for Levi to be there, they did a call up and what do you do? Applaud? They only mentioned Leadville and Tour of Utah but it just seems awkward for him to be there racing, getting called up and then winning. Oy.

  11. Banker

    I agree with you about Levi, too bad public ridicule isn’t a big enough deterrent. Racing for a few bucks at the Crusher is kinda pathetic for him at this point don’t you think? If this wildcat, non-sanctioned racing thing doesn’t work out for him he can always get a job at Christmas time as an elf or a summer theater production gig as the Mayor of Munchkinland. Being short has its privileges. Along the same vein, I hate how velonews has turned off their comments and posts softball stories about CVV and Danielson

    Not sure what it will take to make these guys fade away forever, but if I was Burke Swindlehurst I would not allow Levi the opportunity to compete in my event. It would be a start

  12. DJracer`

    Just do your own deal and stop obsessing over Levi and Lance and all those other guys. Let the officials handle it (well pretend too anyways). Who cares if Levi, or any of them are at a race you want to do… do your own thing man and have fun.

  13. Max

    SINGLE SPEED!!! IMO There is no better way to ride a mountain bike! Steve I think you would really be surprised at how much fun and how FAST you will be on one! With your power to weight ratio you would absolutely crush it on a SS!

  14. Gordon

    My wife has had the same issues with her thumb. Switched (back to) Grip Shift and she is riding almost pain free.

  15. trey h.

    You would have enjoyed the Crusher. It is really really challenging. The presence of Bottle this year, however, made me feel a little icky. I refused to watch him at the awards ceremony, so I rolled down the mountain before the awards were over. I couldn’t wait to take a shower afterwards.


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