This has been a completely different off season for me. Last season ended pretty consistently. I was pretty solid all the way through the local season, but as usual I pretty much became a tourist at the Ironman GNCC (I have written plenty that before, so don’t even let me get started at my habitual failure at that race…Grrrrr!) I think that race is a little like child birth for a woman for me. Somehow that looks like the worst thing in the world and then a chick will sign up to do it again. I love my family and my kids, but wow that just looks to be a horrible experience. Maybe we all would forget it and do it again, after all I cannot seem to do very well (podium = very well) at the Ironman GNCC, yet I go back every year. I have always said that if men and women had to alternate having kids, no family could ever have more than 3 kids – it wouldn’t be possible. No man would do that twice.
But, you are wondering now what any of this has to do with the coming 2 wheel season. Not much, but it did make you start to ask questions.
This off season has been filled with skiing and fitness plans. A little different, in that I have been so focused on getting in my first Birkebeiner in about 10 years. 52km is a long way to ski. That race will be over at the end of February, then it will be time to really focus on the 2 wheeled season that is coming. It is close. I can feel it.
Last year, I was really focused on winning the WIXC class. I trained hard, I lined up at those races if there was one, and I passed up other 2 wheeled events to focus on that season. Pete Emme and I had a great season long battle with really close finishes more often than not. But, as I said the focus meant that I did not do all of the 2 wheeled events that I wanted to do. I skipped some mountain bike races, some MTB Enduro races, some epic MTB rides, some road bike events, some cyclocross events, a couple of motorcycle enduro races, an additional GNCCC race etc… The 2 wheeled season is short in our part of the world, and you either have to focus or NOT focus.
The WIXC series is a fantastic race series. Rick is building a great little offroad community. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is a low population state. That is one of the things that make it a great place to live. But, it is also one of the things that keeps the fields smaller than either I or Rick would hope for. Still, I am proud of winning that series, and proud of the racing that Rick has put together. But, now it is time to branch out and race some of the other things that I would like to race. I will still do a fair number of WIXC races, but a bunch of other things have caught my fancy.
So, this year I am going to diversify. I am only going to do the races that I really like the courses and that fit my calendar, and hopefully that will allow me to do a bunch of different type of races. I have on my calendar:
- 3 GNCC races
- 4 WIXC races
- 2 MXC races
- 4 D16 harescrambles races
- 3 D16 Moto Enduro races
- 1 Full Gas Sprint Enduro
- 3 MTB Enduro races
- 2 MTB XC races
- 6 Cyclocross races
- 1 big MTB trip in the Alps
That event schedule is plenty deep, I mean I am planning to line up at start lines 25 or maybe more times. But on top of that, I have 2 or 3 big epic mountain bike adventures on the calendar.
I have a garage full of items from all my sponsors. Kenda tires, Bell helmets, Moose racing, Galfer brakes, Fox suspension, VC Graphix, Rekluse, Maxima… all waiting to be employed to make my moto’s ready for next season. I have some new XTR parts, MTB tires, chains etc… all ready to go as well.
To make all of that happen, I am going to need to be extremely organized. I have my 250XCF that I am completely rebuilding to get another year out of it. I have a 200XCW that will be for the D16 events and the motorcycle Enduro’s. I have a Fuel EX 29’er that I will be prepping for the more XC MTB days. I have a 27.5 Slash that will be for the MTB Enduro events. I have a carbon Cyclocross bike that is not new, but will need to be made fresh for the season… As I said, lots of work.
The 250XCF is what I am working on now. All the other vehicles need to be prepped and focused for their task, but the 250XCF needs to be completely refreshed from the past season. Bearings, motor, plastic, handlebars, seat, wheels, suspension, steering damper… pretty much everything needs to be rebuilt. I stopped short of painting the frame, as I think I am going to run out of time to get that done. But, everything else on the bike will be fresh or rebuilt.
The 200XCW needs to be focused for Enduro and tight trees work. Bark busters, suspension tweaking, protective items for delicate parts, lubing of bearings, my preferred grips, a new top end etc… But that is nothing compared to the 250XCF. 1 weekend and I should have that ready to go.
The 29’er Fuel EX will get a new XTR 1×11 kit, and a Boost rear end. This will get used for my every day riding, and the XC oriented riding/racing for the year. The XTR kit is ready to be put on, so just need to find a weekend to do that. But, this is way easier than the moto work, so should not take long.
The Slash really just needs to be freshened up with a set of new tires. This bike will just be used for a the MTB enduro events and the Alps trip. May not be able to get through all of that with one set of tires, so probably need to get a back up set for that bike.
The Boone CX bike just needs to be cleaned up, fresh brake pads, new chain etc… I am going to run a set of CX tubular tires next year so they will need to get stretched and mounted before the season. But, this bike will just be hanging out in the garage for the summer, so there is no hurry on this.
I love this time of the year, but not as much as the next period where riding and racing actually gets started.
Until next time. Out.