So as it turns out I picked up a race timing gig for the same day as the Guy's Neshaminy Race, so there goes that plan out the window. But, the Fairhill race is July 10th and I am wide open that day so I am going to throw my hat into the ring for that race. I havent been to Fairhill in ages. I cant remember the last time that I raced there. The upside to the scheduling conflict is that I will get more time to train.
The training has been going well. I feel good on the bike- comfortable; probably more comfortable that I have felt on a mountain bike in a very long time. The Jamis is amazing. It's a combination of the suspension system (which I think I finally have dialed in to where it needs to be). The thing climbs like a monster which is surprising for a full sussy that tips the scales close to 28 pounds. The suspension technology has come along way since my last "new" full suspension bike - the shock allows the rear wheel to track over everything. I have yet to loose traction on a climb and the steering is amazingly nimble for a bike with a relatively high head tube angle. The bike descends like a beast which should be expected from a full suspension bike with as much travel as thing coupled with the geometry of the bike.
I am climbing very well. I can definitely see some good progress on my fitness. I am not totally gassed at the top of many of the climbs that would take the wind out of my sails about a month ago. As a matter of fact, I have been working on keeping my power consistent through a climb and not "laying off" at the crest. Also, I am working on good gear selection and keeping my cadence high instead of burning my quads in a big ring - I am not Jan Ulrich. I dont have that kind of power. I am not fast, but quite frankly I really have not had the opportunity to do any real "speed" training. I have been doing alot of solo riding and I really dont get a chance to hammer unless I ride with others, like Lou and Dom.
Speaking of riding, I have been putting a fair amount of time on the bike. I've been going out in the morning to Darlington Woods 2-3x's a week. The rides are short because I am pressed for time, but it beats the spin classes and it gives me the opportunity to put some rubber on the trails. There's alot of things in the spin classes that dont translate well outside, namely, bike handling. Any idiot can put a spin bike on a high resistance level and crank up a hill for five minutes; it takes a special kind of idiot (like me) to crank up a hill on a twisty, rooty loose and maintain traction. In some respects I am probably getting a better cardio workout in the spin class but there's no equal to being on the trails, on your own bike, facing "real world" conditions. This morning I jumped into a spin class for the first time in 2+ weeks because I needed to do a recovery ride - high cadence/ low resistance. Otherwise, I am going to try and stick to the outside world as much as I can. This current heat wave is brutal, but that's also a big reason why I got riding at 5:40 am in the morning - much cooler.