Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun on the MTB

The cold weather this week forced most of us (cyclist) to improvise a bit. Riding the trainer is one option but getting out on the CX or MTB was another. Thanks to Robert I had a Cannondale Lefty still sitting in the garage and that's how this week of training ended up being - MTB miles. If you gotta get in 3-41/2 hrs or so on the road and the weather is like this...then you might as well get in ~3hrs on the MTB. Best thing, you don't get cold as quick as you're moving the whole time (at least if you're off-road).

So after living for 3years in the ATX I finally went the first time down the Greenbelt. As a "true roadie" with a bit of CX experience it was lots of fun. Tuesday afternoon it was chilly around 30*F but at least the sun was out and we had blue sky. Great 2.5hrs down there:

On Wednesday it started to get a bit colder and the sun was gone but by now we had a good group together. Early afternoon super-sprinter Willy Ross & his friend (name?), Adam G, MMayo and I hopped on the 'belt and spent some time on trails I've never imagined we had in Austin. Very challenging for "roadie" again and they had to wait a few times for me :-) But it got better over time. So much to learn. When riding road bikes or TT bikes you often think you know it all but once you're off-road and some big dudes on fat tires ride away from you you're starting to doubt your own ability. Steep learning-curve for me for sure. I ended up close to 3hrs. Later that day we went to PURE gym and sure enough I see WRoss teach a intense spin-class only 3hrs after our "little" excursion to the greenbelt. He's got lots of energy!
quick photo-stop at a chilly 26*F with Ross + friend, Mayo and Adam's taking pic

a chilly Willy w/ Greenbelt drop in background. He tough a 1hr spin-class a few hours later!

Thursday it got even colder and I still had no intentions to hop on the rollers so I headed out to Slaughter Creek South West of town and did a few laps there. Almost missed the automated/timed gate-closure at 6:35pm but got in a couple of hours on a easy trail comparing what we did the days before.
down to 25*F now on Thursday afternoon

Then finally on Friday, the snow was here! Last time I got to have some fun in the snow on the MTB was a year ago back home in Germany with my old teammates. If you got the right bike, the right (lower) pressure in the tires, and the right trail it's even more fun than just riding on dirt. Most of Austin had a "Snow Day" and so had Adam, Kelly, and I ;-) I thought most the snow didn't make it all the way on the trail with all the thick trees etc. but it was actually pretty "white" down there. But my mid-day most of it started to melt already (at least what was exposed to the sun) so we got pretty dirty in the 2-3hrs we spent down there. Kelly got "skillz", that's for sure. I rode with him at the first Mellow Johnny's Classic 2 years ago and we were head-to-head quite a bit off the back but he spent some serious time off-road and I can definitely tell. I wouldn't even think about riding up stuff, and he just does it. Pretty cool. Some pics from Friday's "excursion":

Kelly smiling... comin' in hot....

Mulch Hill... Adam G taking a break