Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tough Girls Getting Tougher.

They all want to be the toughest girl.

USGP Cyclocross leader Georgia Gould warms up in Boulder, CO.

Boulder, Colorado, USA, October 29, 2006. You have got to love the press and how they tell the story. Headlines read: Wells and Compton take dominant victories Katie Compton solidly won the UCI women's Boulder Cyclo-cross race, beating second place Georgia Gould. This coming week USGP in the area is going to showcase some really close racing.

We had the chance to attend the Boulder race and we filmed the whole event,true to point, they 380 racers, but I don't think more? I sat next to Dave & Nat as they called the event and they had the start list. True Katie Compton raced w/ the men's 3, only to crash hard "heels over her head flip" as she ran into the back of the leader, lucky she did not get hurt, but she had to end her race right there. I have that crash on film. Ouch!!!

It was like I was at a high school football game and Katie Compton, the(local gal)is the only star. So I had keep low about my gal Georgia Gould. This is Boulder,CO and all the press, etc..., those were her people. Understood!!! When in Rome, do as the Romans. The same would hold true if the race had been held in our neck of the woods!

I just want to point out what we saw. Georgia Gould put on a super show, as she took the lead from the start and was pulling away from a small group, until her front wheel went out from under her just after coming out of the lake area, at the top of the hill, just before the long road section, crashing on her right side(on the right hoods,gears,etc...)to a mixture of gravel on top of the road surface. Another Ouch!!!

A good 5-8 racers pass her while she attempted to gather herself,get up and get back on her bike. The bike was not in working order. As I watched, she took a long time to get the bike together. It came to me that she would just end the race then & there. The leaders really put some time on her, because they just hit the road section and as a group really hauled it.

Georgia did get back up,and headed into the long road section w/ a headwind. She did not catch them until(5 or 8)they hit the dirt, then she made up lost ground on the group. At the same time Compton put about about 20 seconds on them all. Georgia then attempted to real the 24 seconds back on the leader. Compton held on that lead for the remainder of the race. Compton and Gould showed why they are both so tough, as they both had crashed hard today, but then they had what it takes to pull away and put a lap most of the field.

After the race I followed Georgia to her car. She pointed out that the crash cost her big. She could not shift into a number of gears. The course was long, allowing for large gears, in which from what she told us,she did not have.

That is racing and what a show both Compton & Gould put on. I just wanted to point out that had Georgia not have crashed, I know it would have been very tight. Even w/the crash, it was still a good race, as they both had each other in sight the whole race. It was great fun and a great turn out! They even had a local high school drummer team there. It was almost like a football game. A ton of support for the racers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Denver's Subrau Veloswap is HUGE!!!

After a full week in CO, working w/ 24 hour king, Subaru-Gary Fisher's Nat Ross on his new ProBikeCenter.com in Golden. We had the chance to hook up some of the best in mtb at the Veloswap in Denver. It was a huge show and a huge success for Wobble-naught and Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish.
We cranked the Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish up at 7:30am and ran 2006 24 hour Women's National Champs "Tough Girl" every hour on the hour. We had a 12ft. wide screen and people packed around watching the girls learn how to refine their pedal strokes.
We even had Subaru-Gary Fisher's top gun Jeremy Horgan-Kobeelski "JHK's" wife Heather Irmiger hooked up. Yes JHK stayed for the whole hour to watch the science uncover Heather's pedal stroke.

She kept saying, is this going to help me catch Georgia Gould Luna Chix. Perhaps?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Does Biofeedback work?

If you live in the Denver, CO area come see us at the 2006 SUBARU DENVER Veloswap & sportsexpo this coming Oct 28th. Watch why Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish biofeedback on the 2006 24 hour NORBA National Champions (Tough Girls)as they watch their stroke inside & out!

For more info,go to www.weloswap.com. Also Wobble-naught new dealer in Golden,CO owner of Probikecenter.com will be signing autographs at Subrau display. Nat Ross will be the first to tell you that is what has made a difference for him.

Biofeedback is a form of electromyography whereby surface electrodes are placed over particular muscles and attached to a portable biofeedback unit. We can even go outside and watch you ride. An electrical stimulus is applied and the muscleƂ’s activity is recorded. Changes in muscle activity are relayed to the you using visual graphs, along w/ Dartfish, plus we have auditory feedback, allowing the user to consciously alter the level of muscle contraction.

For example, electrodes placed over the vastus medialis muscle will indicate to the user the strength of the contraction during the specific exercise such as pedaling. Biofeedback can be used in the re-education of postural muscles as your body extends over the toptube.

This high-tech allows you to re-educate your body to what you need and not what someone else thinks you need!!!
It is more powerful than a powermeter, as the powermeter only tells the sum of the muscles and not which muscle is doing what.

Sports will never be the same w/ this high-tech.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Muscle Spasm and Why?

What is a muscle spasm? A simply understanding of when to drink can make all the difference! Rick Crawford's - "Never be late."
Muscle spasm involves a contraction of the muscle fibers following failure of these fibers to relax, thus causing the muscle to spasm. The spasm may be transient (comes and goes periodically) or it may be chronic. Some muscle spasms will affect the position of the joint, others will present as a tight feeling in the muscle.

What is the cause? Muscle spasms can occur as a result of trauma, chronic use, and fatigue, or may be due to an electrolyte imbalance secondary to dehydration.

What are the symptoms to look for when on the bike? You may notice a unopposed contraction or tightness in the involved muscles, causing a muscle deformity, especially when the spasm occurs in the smaller joints, such as those in hands and feet. The contraction can range from one that is painless but deforming to one that is quite painful but not obvious to visual inspection.

What tests are needed?

Tests should be performed to establish the extent and cause of the spasms especially if they are frequent and/or severe. Palpation and functional testing can usually detect chronic spasm in a muscle.

What treatment is needed?

Stretching of the muscle that is in spasm will usually help to reduce the contraction. On the bike while you pedal, lower your heel to stretch the lower leg. Chronic spasm may be more difficult to relieve and your doctor may recommend physical therapy treatment.

How can muscle spasm be avoided?

Spasm can only be avoided if the cause is understood. In cases of transient spasm during or following vigorous activity, the cause may be due to "fluid loss" and proper hydration will help prevent such problems. "Rick Crawford-Never be late." Chronic spasm may be positional in nature and prevention can be through modification of the work environment and/or frequent breaks for stretching. Get your bike dialed!!! Go to a professional bike fitting service that gets your position in the correct zone.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rick Crawford's Fort Lewis racers have done their homework!

Backed by a sweep of the top-three spots in the men's short track cross country race and the top-two spots in the men's 4-cross competition, Fort Lewis College dominated the Division I ranks as the 2006 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships that opened Friday.

Fort Lewis College's Division I title was a result of several key performances that included 11 visits to the podium.

Rick knows his science. That is why they fly us down to Durango, CO to work w/ each and everyone of the racers. Rick knows we are the real deal and that is why he wants his team using Wobble-naught CAD fit, plus use our "truth telling" Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. He can count on the results.

Division I short track. Fort Lewis Team is the "Top-of-the-Class" at Angel Fire Resort in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, the 2006 USA Cycling Collegiate MTB National Championships had 290 athletes from 71 schools.

After Hagman captured the short track title Friday and teammates Eric Ransom and Noah Singer placed second and third respectively, Fort Lewis College kept its winning streak alive.

Division I men's short track XC race on Friday, on a selective course at 8,600 feet was enough to cut the 77-university rider field down to a select group of contenders after just a few laps. Midway through the race, Wobble-naught fitted Alex Hagman showed he was the strongest rider, as his teammates Eric Ransom and Noah Singer followed for Fort Lewis ahead of fourth-place finisher Andy Schultz (Montana State University) and fifth-place rider Peter Stetina (Colorado State University).

Fort Lewis has so many good riders you never know which one of them is going to be the winner of any given race. They all have used Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish. Catch them if you can.

Let's see? By Fort Lewis Team obtaning their 3rd straight National title, that makes 12 2006 USA National champs in road,tt,mtb,24 hours.plus seeing 3 make the National track team. Not to forget our TEAm Lipton gal taking World TT Champion, plus Granny Gear 24 hour series win. I did not list the ones who made the top five, in which is a big deal alone.

Here is one big reason why Alex Hagman is Wobble-naught fast and why he just took both the 2006 XC & Short Track Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships!

Fit Placed On 1/27/2006 9:18:38 AM
Fit Name: Alex Hagman
Gender: M
Fit Type: mtb
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 145 lbs.

Account: WobbleNaught (tom)

trochtofloor = 970mm
rtankle = 70mm
ankleknee = 425mm
baseknee = 98mm
kneetotroch = 470mm
neutral = 250mm

trochtowall = 110mm
crest = 235mm
acrelax = 690mm
acup = 740mm
acdown = 670mm
actoac = 380mm
actoelbow = 375mm
knuckle = 370mm
shoulder = 1060mm

top_tube = 630mm
seat_tube = 555mm
sangle = 73 degrees
crank = 175mm

ltsesamoid = 132mm
rtsesamoid = 132mm
ltcenter = 44mm
rtcenter = 44mm
ltheel = 195mm
rtheel = 195mm

FIT Computations:
Cleat Placement (A) Longitudinal
*** Right Foot: xxxmm
*** Left Foot: xxxmm

Cleat Placement (B) Lateral
*** Right Foot: xxmm
*** Left Foot: xxmm

Saddle Height: xxxmm
Fore/Aft Saddle Position: xxmm w/ correct saddle tilt w/ the sag of shocks

Effective Body Extension: xxxmm

What fitting system do you use?

Let's get deeper than muscle!

Boney facts! A little understanding goes a long ways. Did you know that if you have your effective body extension correct that you can produce more power to your pedal stroke, plus provide more protection for your spine. The angle of your spine in space makes a huge difference in your game. Basic Biomechanics: Spinal Elements: Cortical bone is the outer dense bone of the vertebral body. Within the cortical bone is a complex structure of cancellous bone, referred to as trabecular bone (image).

The bony vertebral bodies are the primary load-bearing structures of the spine. Bone is a two-phase composite material comprising mineral salts (making the bone hard) and a matrix of collagen and ground substance (giving the bone flexibility and resilience). Bone is an anisotropic material, exhibiting different mechanical properties when loaded in different directions. It is strongest and stiffest in compression. By having your saddle to your handlebars at the correct distance can greatly improve your ability to make more power.

It is true, bone fractures usually occur due to complex loading conditions, involving combinations of tension/compression, bending, shear or torsion. Like ligaments, bone exhibits some viscoelastic behavior and is stiffer, can sustain higher loads before failing, and stores more energy when loaded at higher rates. The key here is to place the hoods in the correct locations in space.

Bone remodels in response to the mechanical demands placed on it, which are affected by the external loads as well as the muscle loading. The spine/hip angles are key for the mechanical demands placed on them by hard efforts from the legs.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Muscle truth: In science, the most widely accepted theory of muscle contraction is the sliding filament theory.

The question then becomes why so many different theories? The point is getting your muscles to work in the best fashion? If we have the best theory, and we understand the structures of muscles, understanding the changes in banding pattern resulting from the movements of thick & thin filaments past each other during contraction, then would we all not want to produce the best cross bridging or sliding of the filaments for the sport? After all what mind plays sport to play poorly?

For years we have made graphs using sEMG of the mechanical responses or the "twitch", of a muscle cell to a single action potential. We can watch the phases and application of the stimulus, along w/ the visible shortening of the muscle over the course of a time. Why then is their so many basic fitters. The real reason of this ongoing debate or guessing is the lack of money a professioinal fitter is willing to pay for the tools that show you your needs. They are not williing to pay for high-tech that is driven by the health care or insurance industry. There are people willing to pay for the service, they just can't find the professional to do it? So it really comes down to money driving things.

Even w/ the science, we have people claiming that they are professionals, they have been riding for years and they know. Or they have attended some fitting school for basic fitting. How slow the bike industry or world learns. Perhaps all fitters should be required to go to school for 10 years to learn and understand the topic thoroughly. But as we know, this is not the real world. The mass marketing iedas are focused on products. They are very basic and they have jumped into the bike fitting because they want to move their products and make money from (saddles,shoes, bikes,etc.) They have placed a lot of stress on the local dealer to use their system "if they want to move their brand."

Skeletal muscle is made of muscle bundle, leading to smaller msucle fiber, to even smaller myofibril. The myofibrill is then made of myofilaments of the molecular level F, G, H and I bands. It is know that actin filament and myosin filament

Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the body, accounting for 40 to 45% of the total body weight. But it seems that the structural charaoteristics of skeletal muscle are not well know?

The most striking feature of muscle fibers is the series of transverse light & dark bands forming a regular pattern along the fiber. Though skeletal muscle patterns appears continuous across a fiber known as myofibrils. Bundles of these fibrils are enclosed by a muscle cell membrane or sarcolemma. Each myofibril is about a micron in diameter. Between the myofibrils are large numbers of mitochondria,which are to be expected in cells that have such a high energy requirement. The myofibrils show the same pattern of cross striations as the fibers of which they are a par.

Skeletal muscle fiber are multinucleated cylindrical cells, 10 to 100um in diameter, and may be up to 1 ft.long. Generally each end of an entire muscle is attached to a bone by bundles of collagen fibers know as tendons. Some tendons are very long, and the site of attachment of the tendons to the tendon to the bone is far removed from the muscle. For example, some of the muscles which move the finger are found in the lower portion of the arm, between the elbow and the wrist.

Now lets get to the real properties of it all. The properties that you can't see w/ your eye. The properties of actin & myosin produce the cyclic activity of the cross bridges and they are responsible for contraction. Aggregation of myosin molecules form thick filaments, w/ the globular heads of the myosin molecules forming the cross bridges. The structure of actin has a thin myofilament composed of two helical chains of globular actin monomers.

Muscles can exert a "pull" but not a push. For ths reason, muscles are typically arranged in antagonistic pairs: one pulls a bone in one direction and the other pulls the same bone in the opposite direction. Such pairs of opposing extensors & flexors are found at the ankle & knee, as well as at other joints when either the flexor or the extensor contract, its antagonistic muscle need to permit the bone to move. To not understand what is really going on here is like riding w/ your brakes on!
Even more important is the understanding that the way you think and how you fire your muscles, has more to do than you know. In order to have the proper coordination, its your nerve impulses that more to do w/ the muscles than you know! Its what to think about that makes a difference,plus have the cleats, and your motor(legs) and hip angle correct for antagonistic pairs to function properly.

Back to the bottom of it all. Myosin, is the larger of the two molecules, and it is shape like a lollypop or golf club heads. They are oriented tail-to-tail in two halfs of the filament; the globular ends extend to the sides, forming the cross briges which binds to the reactive site on the actin molecule. Actin is also a globular-shaped molecule having a reactive site on its surface that is able to combine w/ myosin.

The globular end of the myosin molecule, in addition to being a binding site for the actin molecule, contains a separte binding site for ATP. I am not going to go inot that, but understand it is what makes things go. This active site has ATPase activity, and the reaction that is catalyzed is the hydrolysis of ATP!

Myosin has a very low ATPase activity. It appears that an allosteric change occurs in the active site of myosin ATPase when the myosin cross bridge combines w/ actin in the thin filaments, considerably increasing the ATPase activity. It is believed that the oscillatory movements of myosin cross bridges produce the relative movement of thick and thin filaments, resulting ultimately in the shortening of a muscle fiber.

Many cycles are needed to produce a degree of shortening during muscle contraction, the myosin bridge must be able to detach from the actin and then rebind again. This is accomplished by the binding of ATP to the myosin in the cross bridge, forming what is know as a low-energy complex. The low-energy complex has only a weak affinity for actin; the actin-myosin bond is broken, allowing the cross bridges to disociate from actin. Shortly after this event, a conformational change occurs in the myosin -ATP complex & a "High Energy" complex is formed. The high energy complex has a high affinity for actin, and the cross bridges are able to rebind to the actin. In this manner, the cross bridges are able to bind and dissociate from actin in a cycle of coordinated actions.

The bridges swivel in an arch around their fixed postions on the surface of the thick filaments, much like the oars of a boat. When bound to the actin filaments, the movement of the cross bridges causes the sliding of the thick & thin filaments past each other. Since one movement of a cross bridge will produce only a small displacement of the filaments relative to each other, the cross bridges must undergo many repeated cycles of movement during contraction.

The analysis of leverage in musculoskeletal systems has several applications that are useful for the true movement professional. The advantages derived from knowing muscle mechanic are emphasized in the follow.

The magnitude (amount) and direction (angle of pull) of a muscle or muscle group on a bone is very exacting. Exact magnitudes of the components can be determined by rather sophisticated techniques, but what is more important to understand here are the relative magnitudes of the two components of a muscle's force on a bone. Thus, the greatest torque may be generated by a muscle whose direction of pull is correct to the shaft of its bone. In all sports this can be determined.

Now lets think about the basic fits. Or all the science of being more aero. You will hear everthing. But if the muscles don't work, don't expect to faster. Perhaps the biggest debate are in the tri bike fits. Even w/all the sicence to date, there is still a ton of "old school" thinking and many claims? I guess its becasuse you have to this to your muscles to better run or swim? Back to the turth about movment.

It is important to understand that several joint positions change in the course of a movement, the muscle-to-bone angle changes as well. Certain positions of the joints allow for greater rotary muscle torque; these muscle torques are related to the angle of the muscle attachment as well as the lenght of the muscle at any given instant.

Take the action of the hamstring muscle at the knee. The largest force arm that can be achieved by the hamstring muscle at the knee is that produced when the muscle pulls at its best angle to the leg bone. In other words the cross-bridging of the actin & myosin. If the muscle line of pull is off then the systems fails. When the muscle angle is greater than the correct determined degree (continued flexion of the knee), the rotary component diminishes.

The length-tension relationship is significant here because the muscle is a two-joint muscle. This is huge because who knows what size & shape of hip, sit bones one was given when they picked their mom and dad? If the hip joint is held in a position of extension, (i.e., in a standing position,) the tension able to be produced in the muscle continues to decrease as the muscle shortens to flex the knee.

Because the hamstring muscle is a two-joint muscle, certain adjustments to the length of the muscle is shortening at the other end (i.e.,as the knee flexes, the hip may be flexing.) Your saddle and location of your center of mass behind the botom bracket is very important. Thus the length of the muscle may be maintained, because it shortens to flex the knee while it lengthens w/ flexion of the hip. Consequently, if the hip is flexed as the knee is flexed, the muscle does not lose the tension advantage of its resting length, as it would if it were merely flexing the knee.

The ability to maintain the length of a two-joint muscle during its contraction may allow the muscle greater tension. The angle of attachment of the hamstring muscle in different positions will change the torque in knee flexion. So a zone of hip angle works best as we are moving in & out of balance.

That is one reason we measure your hip size/shape, plus find your sitbones, as that is where the hamstrings are attached. Our constraints and measurements allow you the best chance of finding the correct degrees of pull for a more effective action & myosin contractions.

After that we can even show you a graph of the mechanical response, the twitch, of a muscle cell to a single action potential. That allows you to control your stimulus.

Muscles fibers, like nerve fibers, have a refractory period, that is, a very short period of time immediately following one stimulus, during which they will not respond to a second stimulus. The refractory period in skeletal muscle is so short (about .002 second) that muscles can respond to a second stimulus while still contracting in response to the first. The result of this is the summation of contractions, which leads to a greater than normal shortening of the muscle fiber.

Some to know about fatigue. If we have to work some muscles more because you don't know the best movement, you deplete that muscle stores of glycogen. This may actually be felt by the individual before the muscle reaches the exhausted condition.

In contrast to true muscle fatigue psychological fatigue may cause an individual to stop exercising even though his muscles are not depletet of ATP and are still able to contract.

An athlete's performance depends not only upon the physical state of his muscles but also upon his will to perform. But if the muscles are not allowing for their best shortening "Game Over."

A note from Sima Trapp being a member of the USA Track Team.

Sima holds a master's degree in physical therapy. She understands what we do and also puts its to use. She is opened minded and is a professional in her practice and on the bike. In 2004,Sima won National TT Championships on a standard road bike? We point this out, as so many people pracitce in the medical field, but don't race at the National level. Sima outside focused on her muscles
If you are on a National team, you are looking for every edge you can. That is why Sima comes in every time she is home from National Team Camps to work on her game.
She uses our fit, plus our Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish has her biofeedback to learn better what she needs to work.

I made the USA National Team for a second year. Last year there were 10 women in the Talent pool, this year it is down to 8, and next year will probably be down to 4-6 as we get closer to the olympics. I am so honored to be one of the 8 riders that will get to represent the US at Track events.

Here is the press release on the Track Talent Pool on Cyclingnews.com.
Two from TEAm Lipton and both Kristin and Sima are old team mates from Boise, ID.

Women’s Endurance Squad
Sarah Hammer (Temecula, Calif./Ouch Pro Cycling)
Neva Day (Manhattan Beach, Calif./Southbay Wheelmen)
Becky Quinn (Quakertown, Pa./Spike)
Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Lipton)
Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo./Team Lipton)
Sima Trapp (Boise, Idaho/Colavita-Cooking Light)
Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Cedar Springs, Mich./Wolverine Sports Club)
Kelly Benjamin (Overland Park, Kan./Diet Cheerwine)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Nat Ross takes 24 Hour of Moab just before a 105 year storm!

Flash Floods, Fickle Course and Four Sets of Destroyed Brake Pads Couldn't Keep Nat Ross from Winning 24 Hours of Moab and National Points Series
Results (ri zult's) 1 a)anything that comes about as a consequence or outcome as some action, process, etc. b)[pl.]the consequence or consewuences desired 2 the number, quantity, etc. obtained by mathematical calculation; answer to a problem -SYN. Effect, Follow

Regardless of what other fitting systems claim or fitters say. We are not your basic fit. Does it pay to use our CAD fit on your bike? Ask Nat Ross, or the other 10 "Stars & Strips" winners why they use us? Nat will be the first to tell you how Wobble-naught's CAD solution makes him able to ride fast for 24 hours, plus how Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish has made a difference for him understanding his muscles.

Nat likes what we have done for his game so much that he is putting a performance center in Golden, CO. We will be w/ Nat at the Velo show in Denver, CO Oct 28th. Nat will have a booth. So if you can, come by to see why so many top pros are learning how to improve their game.

We show you the "Truth.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It all comes down to this race.

Epic Solo Battles: It All Comes Down to Moab

All year long, the big guns of the solo world have been chasing points in the National Point Series. It looked like it was all going to be decided at The 24 Hours of Landahl, between points leaders Wobble-naught fitted Ernesto Marenchin and Steve Schwarz, but Wobble-naught's Nat Ross (this year's Temecula champion) took note, showed up at Landahl and won, pushing the points chase to the finale at Moab. But just as Nat was the spoiler at Landahl, Tinker Juarez could be a spoiler at Moab. Now the battle will be between Steve Schwarz, Wobble-naught's Nat Ross.

Our guy from Ohio Ernesto Marenchin has told Granny Gear he won't be able to defend his lead. Ernesto not coming to Moab, it opens up possibilities for other points winners like Levi Borst and Chris Gagnon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Your 38, new to mtb racing, win US Nationals, then take 2nd at Worlds.

24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike World Championships, Conyers GA Oct 7-8.

I just returned home to Ketchum, ID from the World Championships and am trying to catch up on sleep and fill you all in on how the race went. I intended to write this race report on the airplane, but even 48 hours after the event I found that holding a pen to write actually required more strength than I have in my hands right now. The race was one of the most brutal efforts I have put forth in as many years as I can remember. The technical course left me sore and bruised from my thumbs down to the balls of my feet.

The days before the event were spent in Georgia pre-riding the course and sorting gear. The pre-rides consisted of me working a couple difficult sections to try to figure out how to ride them, trying to plan where in the course I could actually take my hands off the bars to eat and drink, and feeling frustrated about the technical aspect of the course.
It was by far more difficult riding than any mountain bike race I've ever done. The course was only 8 miles long, but action packed the whole time. It was all single track with very fast twisty turns, blind corners, abrupt transitions into very steep headwalls, rattly downhills and virtually no place to rest. I have to admit that the nature of the course definitely put a chink in my confidence before the race. It was not a course suited for me.

But I had to adapt to the situation, so I altered my nutrition plan a bit and proceeded with the preparations. I was definitely better physically trained for this race than previous ones. I had a top notch crew, great gear, a solid race plan, a National Championship to my name. I was ready. The only unknown was the competition I was up against. The Elite women's field was a short, intimidating list. They were all names I'd read about in mountain bike magazines and many of them have years of bike racing under their belts. The race organizers were publicizing that the women's field was the most competitive one they've hosted. I had only gone head to head against one of the women before. All the others were complete unknowns to me.

Endurance is my strength, so I expected the first laps to be uncomfortably fast and furious. I was pleasantly suprised to find myself riding the first lap solidly on the wheel of mountain bike veteran, Sue Haywood. Last year's 2nd place winner, Monique Sawicki was also close by. We three spent the first few laps within seconds of each other. From that point on, Sue and I had some laps that were compatible times and some where she was just a minute or two ahead. That was enough for her to start to develop a lead over me, while I was also opening a lead on 3rd place. I kept the distance to Sue under 8 minutes for nearly half the race. From about 2am on, I felt like the technical nature of the course was just giving my body a beating. My thumbs were aching from the constant shifting, my forearms were bruised from the jackhammering of my handlebar and the balls of my feet were tender from standing in the pedals over the ragged roots and bumpy granite.

I was still giving it everything I had and riding as hard as I could. The lap times were slowing, as expected, but still hovering around one hour. My pit times were short. I didn't really take time off the bike. The crew was tuning my bikes, preparing food/bottles, giving me lap times and pushing me out of the gate each time, so that I didn't waste time off the bike. They were fantastic motivation for me. I looked forward to coming into the pits each time to see their faces, even though they did push me out as soon as I got there.

By around 8AM, Sue had a solid lead over me and we had both lapped the rest of the women's field. The race had come down to just the two of us, but it was clear to me that at this point, she had the race. Barring catastrophe, she would take 1st and I would take 2nd. My last four laps were probably the hardest for me. I knew I just had to maintain a decent pace and finish my laps to hang onto 2nd place. However, the course and the hard effort had taken their toll. I was suffering from asthma attacks, coughing up blood, and walking up many of the steepest hills (although I was not alone in doing this). At one point I had to ask a volunteer to borrow her asthma inhaler.

Riding into the finish chute for the last time was a huge highlight for me. After 25 laps (200 miles) and 23 hrs, 31 min. of extremely intense racing, it's an inexplicable experience to finally reach the finish and be able to step off your bike and onto solid ground. Sue finished a lap more than I did, so that put her about 1:15 ahead of me and I was approximately the same distance ahead of 3rd place finisher, Louise Kobin. My laps and time would have placed me 9th among the men and DID earn me 2nd place in the women's elite field! I feel ecstatic to be able to put my name up there among the best endurance mtb racers in the world!

The finish line was all fanfare with media cameras, music, banners, spectators, but the thing that meant the most to me was seeing the beaming faces of my friends and family who had ushered me through the race. It was definitely a team effort. They selflessly wiped my nose, fed my face, handled my dirty bike shorts, and provided more motivation and inspiration than I could have mustered on my own. I am so thankful I had my team to share this World Championship event. Jason, Charles, Mom, Greg and Glenn.......THANK YOU for a great race!

And of course.........thanks to Specialized, Red Bull, Light and Motion, Hammer Nutrition, Brave Soldier skincare and Wobblenaught bike fitting for getting me to the start line.

Below I have included a couple links that have blow by blow coverage of the race and a good race article. Some photos are copied here as well.

Next on the agenda is La Ruta de los Conquistadors, a 3 day staged mountain bike race across the country. This one will be about 24 hours of racing, but spread over three days. Also, Louise Kobin from worlds has won this event three times and will be racing again this year along with other mountain bike notables like Marla Streb. The women's field in the Costa Rica race is currently 40 deep!

Enjoy the photos. Time for me to catch up on some sleep!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Welcome Home Party for Kristin Armstrong.

A small party was put together for the new World TT Champion at local Kessler's. Beer, food and cake and a few little Byrds.

Now whch one of your Byrds is going to be next?

Monday, October 09, 2006

The fast track w/ Sima Trapp in LA.

She is not that big, but she has a big motor!!!
The past USA Master's TT Champion has a nack for the track!!!
Hard to see even w/ a cam!!!

Georgia Gould takes USGP series lead.

Top women's cyclo-cross riders run away and stayed ahead of the field the entire race; Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com), Georgia Gould (Luna) and Wendy Simms (Kona).
Saturday's winner and 2005 USGP champion Bessette rode hard until Gould outsprinted her for the win. Gould takes the overall lead from Bessette headed to the third race of the series in Boulder, Colorado at the end of the month.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

As we said, here come the results!!!

Gran Prix of Gloucester 2, Gloucester, MA - C1 Gloucester, MA, USA, October 8, 2006
Georgia Gould (Luna) takes the Elite Women win over Lyne Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) Queen.
At the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Solo Championships, Rebecca Rusch new to mtb racing takes 2nd just behind Susan Haywood (Trek/VW.) Plus Ernesto Marenchin (Asylum Cycles) takes 5th at the World Championships.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The season is young for Cyclocross and 24 hour races

For many the season is over, but not for many of the top pros. Cyclocross season has just started and there are many 24 hour races. We are already seeing Wobble-naught racers like Andy Applegate, Georgia Gould winning or challenging the best in the cyclocross field. These are fun races because is all about the racer racing the course.

There are still a few major 24 hour races and we hope to see our guys & gals from across the land at the top. The last 24 hour race had 5 Wobble-naught fitted men at the top. And we hope that 2006 National Champ Reba does well in Georgia at Worlds this weekend. How many people do you know who can ride for 24 hours? Best be dialed on your bike!!!

Bessette (Cyclocrossworld.com) is the overwhelming favorite, but she has a new face to deal with and a challenging one w/ the 2006 NORBA National Champion and 2005 Mid-Atlantic series winner Georgia Gould (Luna), who was taking her first UCI cyclocross start of the young season. The start was all Bessette once again, but unlike Saturday she had company for the first lap in the form of Gould, who was out to prove that she could not only hang with Bessette but take her down. Bessette did powered away from Gould and took an advantage that was never to be breached.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Can you pick who is the real World Champion?

They both eat pasta to go fasta!!!

It's the one who can speak English!

Grace Fleury & Liza Rachetto race well for Team TRIA

3rd La Vuelta Ciclista Femenina a El Salvador
El Salvador, September 27-October 2, 2006 TEAm Lipton racers do very well riding under Team TRIA. They are part of the winning team.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Applegate tops Sanders Cyclocross

Applegate tops at Sanders; Jacques-Maynes wins in Washington
Results: Ed Sander CyclocrossIn memory of NCVC member Ed Sander
1. Andy Applegate (Sonic Cyclocross)
2. Nathan Deibert (Holmes Cycling/BodyLogicTherapy)
3. Sean Galegher (Hunt Valley Bicycles/Marathon Roofing)
4. Nick Bax (Hot Tubes)
5. Ryan McKinney (Team Snow Valley)
6. Weston Schempf (FORT*)
7. George Menard (Hunt Valley Bicycles/Marathon Roofing)
8. Andrew Wulfkuhle (ADG/Joe's Bike Shop/C3)
9. Kyle Hammaker (Trek VW/JBL)
10. Stephen De Lisle (FORT Frames)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Interbike O6

Each year, owners of Sinclair Imports put on the biggest partie of the Interbike show, with pro-riders and bike industry figures. Yes it is true that colourful identities where dancing overlooking the lights of Vegas.

After walking all week the Sinclair party makes standing a little better. Its fun, as we all put aside the work-talk-walk in order to enjoy the event.

Even the very fit World Champion Kristin Armstrong said her legs hurt from all the standing. It was great to see many of our dealers, new dealers, friends, coaches, and racers. Too many to list, but they are some of the best in the cycling game.