Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Fall Races + Ronde + Grampian Challenge

Sorry for slacking, it’s time I update this thing. I’ve done quite a bit of racing since I last posted, some I’m proud of, some not so much. I managed to finish out the NUE series placing in the top 10 for the points. A lot of fast guys came out of the woodwork and posted their 4th races. The series has really grown and become very competitive. I've done quite a few of these races, all were very difficult, maybe too difficult, and some maybe just down right hazardous... which has me re-thinking my race schedule for next yr and maybe taking on a season that suites my styles a little better. Details to come on that later...

The last race of the year at Fool’s Gold wasn’t really anything to write home about. We drove 12hrs, it rained, I got lost a couple times, we drove 12hrs home. I did like the course however. A little heavy on the climbing, but the singletrack flowed awesome and it was a good mix of dirt rd/trail.

After Fool’s Gold, I got sick. I’m not surprised. Two tough NUE’s along with a couple big road trips less than a week apart is enough to take down even the healthiest individuals. So just coming off the cold, I decided to give the Ronde Von Stony a shot. Despite the rainy cold weather, I had an awesome time racing out near all the roads I train on. I didn’t quite have the punch at the end and finished 4th. My team mate Ronnie was riding super strong on the day and took the win. It was great hanging out with all my riding buddies after a long season away from the scene.

After Ronde, I decided to try my luck at some Cyclocross racing. I was hoping for a top 10 and a good workout, but to my surprise, I rode with the leaders, Adam York and Sven Bauman, all the way to the sprint finish taking 3rd. The course was super choppy which made the mountain bike a good choice.

This set me up well for the past weekend at the Grampian Challenge. I didn’t quite know what to expect, because the CX race the past weekend could have very well been a fluke due to the choppy course. The Grampian Challenge is set on all my favorite local training roads. It starts at Addison Oaks, right where my wife and I got married. It then heads out to Markwood and Drahner Rds. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden on these roads. Everytime I leave my house on a ride, I don’t feel warmed up till I get to the top of Drahner Rd. It’s where I’ve spent countless hrs in sub freezing temperatures, it’s where I developed myself into a national caliber rider, it's where I go to contemplate on many of my lifes toughest decisions, and most importantly, it’s where I got to know some of my closest friends. I’ve really started to fall in love with these types of races like Grampian and Ronde. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, be ready to roll next year because I think these races are really going to take off.

The action got started quickly and I could tell the legs were good. We snaked through the Addison Oaks 2 track and head out to Bald Mountain. I decided this was where I wanted to make my first attack. I went hard through the trail section and pulled out my team mate Ronnie, and Mark Parmelee. We were hauling out on the dirt rds as each of us took pulls in the cross winds trying to work each other over. As we made our way into Grampian Mt, I attacked as hard as I could up the hill, and only Ronnie held my wheel. I pulled us all the way to the finish inside Addison Oaks and very narrowly took the win ahead of my team mate Ronnie. It was an RBS 1-2! It meant a lot to me to win this race on my home turf and race on all the roads so near and dear to me. It also proved to me that my fitness has really started to come around. Sometimes all it takes is a little more rest, and some time off from the road trips to bring the fitness right back around. It’s in perfect timing for this weekends Peak to Peak. I’m looking forward to it.

With that being said, I hope to see you out there in the coming weeks as we all prepare for the season finale at Iceman. Thanks for reading.




David Moore Jr. said...

You rocked it!

Tony said...

Great job Mike!

I drive an hour to work just to live in northern Oakland county and, specifically, the Grampian hills area. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else in the metro Detroit area. I actually ran into you riding up Drahner a couple of weeks ago...I was walking the huge white dog.