Monday, October 27, 2014

Year End Party: Sunday November 2nd at Hooley Home.

Our year end party will be at the Hooley home: 405 Portland Ave, St Paul, MN 55102 next Sunday, November 2nd.

Start with a ride at Lebanon Hills in Eagan at 2:30 followed by a very casual pot-luck dinner at our house. 

The Hooeley’s will supply chili (one vegetarian option and one meat option). If people would like to volunteer to bring the following, it would be great:

beverages
corn bread/bread
sides
dessert

At the party, we should discuss a few business matters such as finances for this year, fundraising/finances for next year and general plans for next year.

John F is going to try to put a slideshow together that will run during the party.

Please send a note to saint-paul-highland-mountain-bike-team@googlegroups.com with what you can bring.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014: Race #5 – Whitetail Ridge Sunday Oct 26 (final 2014)

First - put your numbers in your car now so you don’t forget them.

Our calendar is up to date with race starts, the official details are on the race site: http://www.minnesotamtb.org/2014-race5-whitetail-ridge/

Destination: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=44.88392,+-92.63321

Race Profile - from David Moore (Peter’s Dad): http://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/619234500 (zoom in and switch to Satellite view)
(it doesn’t feel that up and down, but I guess it us!)

Race strategy for the finisher (not trying to win - seeking to finish tired but with style and have fun)

  • The race starts with a long climb. Stay to the right and go at 80% so you have energy at the top; stay in your seat to conserve energy. There are periodic gravel bumps, get some momentum so you get up and over without spinning wheels.
  • There’s one other smaller but similar climb - play it the same way.
  • After each of those two climbs there’s an grassy flat or slow climb are around open fields. This is where you can pass when you’re ready — often at the top of the climb. There’s good room to pass there.
  • The rest of the trail is fairly narrow — there won’t be much passing. 
  • After the first open field there’s a stretch with several bridges. Approach with steady speed and look ahead, they’re no problem.
  • Not a lot of berms on this trail, remember to stay on the outside edge.
  • There are some narrow spots and the roots are tricky. Keep eyes open, look ahead, and lift your front wheel to cruise over the roots. If there’s someone ahead of it’s easy to spot the fun stuff.
  • There’s a lot of fun up and down, trick is to stay in an solid gear so you can get speed on the down and cruise up the other side.
  • Have a great time, and remember than once you start the 3rd lap you are sure to finish. So just be steady and finish fast.

Course review - David Moore

The course starts with a sweeping right across a wide flat grassy field for 150 meters. An immediate dive into the forest yields a seriously steep 250-meter-long climb up a rutted, slightly loose Jeep road: don't get caught in the big ring entering the woods. It's a leg-burner, by far the likeliest place to pass or be passed on the whole course.

Then there's about a half mile of flat wide grassy path around a plowed field -- further opportunities to pass or be passed.

Almost all of the rest of the course (excepting two more long flat grassy runs alongside plowed fields) is singletrack: often twisty, with roots, a half-dozen low short wooden bridges, and frequent rises and dips. It's at about the same technical level as most of Lebanon Hills, though not as rocky as the Expert and XX sections there.

The last fourth of the race loop is flat to rolling, but still singletrack. All in all, it's a challenging course, requiring constant alertness and resourceful riding.

Season Awards Ceremony Nov 1 7pm Hopkins

Season Awards Ceremony 2014 – Minnesota High School Cycling League has the details, and I’ve added them to the Calendar entry.

Racers should wear team jerseys, but otherwise “semi-formal”. Free, donations accepted at door.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mt Kato Race information is online - deadline for online registration is Tues. Oct. 7, 2014 at Midnight!

Yes, I know we’re still recovering from Rochester, but Mt Kato is open us.

The web page has the usual information: http://www.minnesotamtb.org/2014-race-4-mt-kato/

Deadline to preregister is Tuesday 10/7 midnight. Tomorrow!

"The course starts with a nice warm-up climb to the top of the ski area. Once on top, all racers make a large traverse along the back of the ski area. The course has a good balance of climbs, descents and technical sections with switchbacks. Approximate vertical gain per 4 mile lap is 400 feet.”

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reflector alternatives for those who ride their mountain bikes on the roads

I always wear a helmet on my bikes, but when I'm with cars being highly visible is at least as important. My commuting bike is visible from low earth orbit.

Being visible isn't always a great match to mountain bike racing though. It takes the strongest of minds to race with wheel reflectors or front/rear reflectors. That's not a problem if you never ride your mountain bike on the street in dim light, but most of us at least ride to some trails.

One partial fix to reflector-free bikes is to wear highly visible and reflective clothing - and especially to stick a portable blinkie to your helmet or jacket.

That's good, but you can do even better with 3M based "Lightweights" Power Reflectors. I've put these on several bikes, replacing spoke reflectors and improving visibility.

They are quirky to apply to spokes. I'll try to do a short video; once you know the technique it's easy to do while watching TV or sitting outside with a beverage. Get one end wrapped about spoke and then use the paper end to turn the strip, the paper just peels off. Be sure to clean first with alcohol solution.

If you really want to be seen you can apply some of the 'extras' to bike surfaces. They stay on well. I apply those to cranks (front back outside) and maybe front forks.

The result is very visible at night, and not obvious during day. Total weight added is negligible.