GrassMoots rider Matt Montrose writes in this week about getting his season rolling….both literally and figurativley….The nesessary evils of training inside….
While some racers are just hanging up their bikes after an extended American cyclocross season others, like me, are just starting to spool up their spring training campaigns.
Indoor riding is a necessary evil, and no matter what kind of tools, tricks or games I try to incorporate into my workouts there’s an inexorable drudgery that goes along with stripping a bicycle of its awesomeness and reducing it to a pedal-powered treadmill. My current setup shown above is my ’08 Moots Compact Custom, a set of rollers with resistance and a TV/DVD player with wireless headphones. Mindless but entertaining action movies like The A-Team and 300 make frequent appearances. I tried watching some horror films last winter and found the low production values and thin stories lines to be too tough to sit through. It turns out you can be a snob about anything if you try hard enough.
The weather the last few weeks has been very unpredictable with scarce snow and wildly fluctuating temperatures. Some local guys have been riding outside while others have been more ski-focused. I’ve never really been good at focusing on more than one thing so I feel like I’ve neither hit my ski groove nor gotten over the gag reflex of grinding out hour after hour riding inside.
Really none of this is new news- it’s the same old cycle every winter, and right around now I’m seriously jonesing to hit the trails. I know it’s still a few weeks away and every workout now will make riding outside more enjoyable. Theoretically I’m working towards the Wildcat 100 on May 11, but the more tangible goal is fitting back into the pants that fit over the summer.
And before you ask- no, I don’t move that stack of wood out of the way before I start riding because if I bump into it and fall off it gives me an excuse to stop.
How time flies….
A couple of weeks ago myself and Matty P made a mad dash to Madison, WI for Cyclocross Nationals. Trying to best a 2nd place from last year I felt I might have it in the legs to go one better. You always have to believe right? If you don’t you might as well not go. So we loaded the Moots Sprinter and made the 14.5 drive to Verona. Much different weather this year vs. last, but that’s Cyclocross.
Thursday pre-ride. Friday am race. If a podium place was achieved we’d have to stay Friday night.
NOT TO BE
The start went well and by the middle of the first lap found myself sharing the lead with Tim Butler, while the others were chasing close behind. Right where you want to be.
Starting the second lap a group of 4 of us had starting pulling away. The mud on top of ice meant most everyone would crash at least once. Mine came about 2/3 rd’s of the way through lap 2. Head long into a metal fence, which caused a front flat (and bruises) a long way front the pit. Ride, ride, ride….bike change…chase, chase, chase. At one point down to 12th or so, and then battling back to an 8th place at the finish. Not as planned, but hey that’s bike racing….and you have to learn and move forward. I try not to dwell…
With no podium appearance, we loaded the van and departed for home. Made it home for dinner on Saturday night. A quick trip that even now I have a hard time recalling the details.
Since then it’s been a scramble to clean bikes, glue new tires, stay fit & healthy for Masters Worlds in Louisville, KY.
I sit in a coffee shop surrounded by the hipest of hip folks as I type this in Louisville, KY…. Pre-ride done on the Masters Worlds course and qualifying tomorrow. Should be a tractor pull…..Think Cross Vegas style heavy grass, that is wet with the earth coming up from below.
A historic event for masters and elite Cyclocoss Worlds to be here in the US. Should be a great show, if you are in Louisville stop by and say hi….we’ll be set up during the Elite weekend in the expo area.
The need to adapt your clothing choices as a cyclist is a must. Living in a mountain location adds yet another level to this all together. We live in town at 6700’ above sea level and get on average 350’’ of snow per year. Oh, and on top of that it gets really cold at times….so cold that when it reaches +20F you feel the need to crank out a 20 mile loop. This “winter thing” can last 4-6 months depending on the mood of mother nature so if you want to ride, you’ve got to be ready to put on some gear.
Yes, we live here by choice and nobody is holding a gun to our heads telling us we need to live here. …and please don’t take this as a complaint.
Here at Moots most everybody rides…..you guessed it…a Moots! Whether a Road, mountain or my favorite Cyclocross. So we have that nailed….nice bikes for sure. So what does one ride in when it’s “warm enough” to warrant a ride in the winter? And I’m talking clothing here…. Well, mainly at the moment everyone has their commuting get up….layers and layers of jackets, gloves, hats and assorted helmets to keep one on the bike as much as possible. Many of these items come from the skiing family of clothing so that’s a pretty easy one to adapt.
REAL RIDING IN THE WINTER
So back to getting out on a ride….. At the moment we have not had too much snow, so skiing is okay…we need a storm to freshen things up around here. So we ride…. some still training for that last Cyclocross race and some putting in early 2013 base miles.
I went for a “real deal” outside ride today in order to keep pushing towards Masters Cyclocross Worlds at the end of the month. One can only spend so much time inside on the trainer be for going koo-koo.
It was a “balmy” +20F outside and the sun was out. Here’s what I wore:
Starting from the feet up:
Moots/Swiftwick wool socks
Giro mountain bike shoes
Gator neoprene booties
Vermarc Roubaix leg warmers
Vermarc Roubaix bib knickers
Craft Bullet cycling pants
Craft long sleeve polypro top
Craft short sleeve polypro (Windstopper) top
Vermarc winter jersey (long sleeve)
Vermarc winter jacket
Moots light wind jacket
Vermarc neck gator
Vermar winter hat
Helmet (Giro winter liner w/plastic bag insert)
Giro Pivot winter glove
Mountain Hardware windstopper fleece over gloves
……and just a touch of Mattyp’s secret coffee embrocation to the knees and lower back.
What are you riding in this time of year?? Enjoy!
We are happy to announce that we have a new Moots Dealer north of Chicago. Green Bay Bicycles joins the Moots team to bring “Handbuilt in the Rockies” to the northern Chicago area. Green Bay Bicycles has the experience with high-end products, fit and service that we look for in a dealer. If you live in the area you now have a source for all things Moots.
Green Bay Cycles
999 Green Bay Road – Winnetka, Illinois 60093
Stop in and say hello!
Work hard, put in the time, work a little harder and before you know it, good things happen right? That’s how we here at Moots feel when we get to know a bike shop and sign them to be a Moots Dealer. We don’t have a dealer on every corner out there and really that’s not the goal. The goal is to have solid dealers that customers like to visit and feel at home when doing so.
Bicycle Sport has opened their arms to Moots and we are proud to have them back us!
Moots will be making a visit to Louisville during Cyclocross World Championships and also making another visit to Bicycle Sport as well.
If you are in the area, stop in and visit them when you get the chance.
Posting this on the Winter Solstice seems just about right….we have been hammered by a 5 or 6 day storm that has erased any lack of snow we might of had. A small shift in the jet stream and wham! We are running in the positive for snow fall….at-least for now.
You see, Steamboat averages about 350 inches of snow fall per year…that’s about 29 feet of snow…some years more, some less, but on average…loads of snow. Our little town thrives on the white stuff and many of our friends and family make a living that depends on it….so we give in. We need it…the snow provides jobs, outdoor activities and tacky trails come spring and summer.
Being a cyclist in such a place means you have to get creative when it comes to riding and/or training…simple things like riding to run an errand become epic outings….and such outings provide a contact with the bike, even if brief, that allows us to maintain skills and sanity at the same time.
I made a run over to Orange Peel Bicycle Service the other day for one such errand and ran into mixed conditions….un-plowed bike path, deep snow main street and the storm really hadn’t even hit yet. Life’s an adventure right?
On this Solstice we welcome winter for better or worse…from here on out the days get longer…and more than likely snowier.
Pictured above is the first we’ve seen of the new SRAM XX1 set up on a Moots. Aloha Mountain Cyclery in Carbondale, Colorado is a premier Moots dealer and has again, stepped up their game with this build pictured above.
SRAM XX1, takes the love of a single front ring and pairs it with the range of an 11 (say “mine goes to eleven” with me) speed cassette. It’s a pretty sweet set up and opens the door for the less is more feeling.
Simple, clean and smooth. We like.
Now that the crew has returned to Moots the stories of great rides and new friends is spreading pretty fast around here. The Cycling House hosted our first ever Moots Owners Camp in Tucson, AZ. This was hopefully the first of more to come….
Moots Riders from around the country and beyond took the plunge and arrived in Tucson, AZ for a week of amazing rides, great food and top notch hospitality carried out by The Cycling House staff and several Moots factory representatives. Armed with Moots bikes of thier own and a truck load of Moots demo bikes the riders took on the rough life of riding each and everyday…bagging some nice early December miles in the temperate climates of Arizona, just as “real” winter was hitting everywhere else. Not a bad deal I’d say.
Our staff came away with several ideas for future camps both road and mountain. We’ll be sure to update you with any plans for another camp.
You can view a small gallery of the 2012 MOOTS OWNERS CAMP HERE.
Thanks to all that made the trip!
Last week we kicked off our first ever Moots Owners Cycling Camp in Tucson, Az. We partnered with The Cycling House that provided a base camp, meals, expert route knowledge and techincal service if needed. The camp enjoyed great weather and many miles of beautiful scenery.
We’ll be posting more photos and details soon…..