Thursday, August 4, 2011

Trying new stuff

This is mainly about mountain biking in preparation for my third and final XTERRA of the season. I guess to explain, I decided at the end of last fall's tri season, to get a cyclocross bike, mainly for the purpose of winter training. I also did a couple of CX races and loved it, and it definitely taught me a lot about bike handling, riding at extremely high intensities, etc.
I had been half-toying with the idea of an off-road tri for a while, and riding CX definitely encouraged that idea a bit more. It just so happened that I saw there was one in South Jersey a few weeks after Collegiate Nationals. I figured it wouldn't be too difficult of a course, so following Nationals, I just rode exclusively off-road to get ready, considering this was my first time riding a mountain bike. I did OK, so I signed up again for XTERRA East Regionals in Richmond, VA and did absolutely TERRIBLE. It was a significantly harder course, and it really shocked me to realize I needed to learn to ride better.
Fast forward to now, I've been riding a couple of times with Alex from Bicycle-Pro, who happens to race downhill as a pro. I am forever in debt to him and that shop, because I've learned SOOO much, and I hope I've gotten better, aside from using my head as a stopping device yesterday.
Anyway, the only way to really find out is by racing XTERRA Stoaked on Sunday. It'll be my last one, and hopefully it's enough to keep the lead of the male 20-24 age group in the northeast, even though there are one or two more races that people may or may not go to. We shall see.

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