You know we are huge fans of cyclocross bikes here at Moots right? Yes, we are. The versatility of this bike is amazing. A recent event done by a self proclaimed Moots Fanatic pushes that point home. Michael Saenz lives in Edmond, Oklahoma and has his sights set on The Dirty Kanza…for a fitness and gear check he knocked off what he calls a “prelude”….
Land Run 100 – a Prelude to Dirty Kanza
By Michael Saenz, a Moots Fanatic
So I am a huge fan of all things bicycles. With this in mind, I’ve been paying a lot of attention lately to the wildfire-like spread of gravel grinder events popping up across the country. Reading about riding these gravel roads with hundreds of miles of virtually traffic-free routes really took me back to the basics of bicycle riding – carefree exploration. I felt like a child again with youthful exuberance and the anticipation of adventure and I hadn’t even set foot on a gravel road yet! I just knew that after 25 years of bicycle riding I needed to go outside my comfort zone and give this a try.
Of course, I’ve never been one for moderation, so I hopped right on the bandwagon and signed up for the granddaddy of them all – Dirty Kanza. We all know signing up is the easy part. Now, I needed to prepare. I would need a bicycle that could handle the gravel roads as well. This choice was a no brainer for me – I looked no further than the good folks at Moots. Having ridden the Vamoots now for several years and absolutely loving everything about it, I decided to re-engage the formula N – 1 (N being the number of bikes before your spouse leaves you for buying too many bicycles) and order a Psychlo X.
As for preparation, I signed up for the inaugural Land Run 100 out of Stillwater, Oklahoma. I sent out email after email to my ride group buddies hoping to recruit a few cohorts to share the experience. I received a few “maybes,” but no definites and so being somewhat naive, I continued to push on in preparation for going it alone.
Land Run 100 is promoted by District Bicycles in Stillwater, Oklahoma and took place this past March 9th. The route was designed to highlight some of Oklahoma’s best gravel and dirt roads with over 5,200 feet in elevation gain over the 106 mile route; setting out to prove Oklahoma is anything but flat. The race proved to be epic in the truest sense of the meaning!
In the days leading up to Land Run 100 I noticed increasing rain chances. Anyone even remotely familiar with Oklahoma red dirt knows that water and clay-based soil don’t mix and result in a gooey mess completely unfavorable to riding a bicycle. I watched the weather forecast like a hawk contemplating not riding. However, I’d already told everyone I know about riding the ride. Forget about being stuck in a mud pit during an unsupported ride in the middle of the boondocks, there was pride at stake now so I had no choice but to push on and show up for the start.
Driving to the start I was met with drizzle and a forecast calling for 90% chance of thunderstorms. I began to overlook the drizzle as the realization set in that I’d been so fixated with the rain I did not even think to consider the 18 mph headwinds that awaited us for the start. I began to question my decision to ride and thought maybe I should have ridden gravel more than three times leading up to Land Run 100. That’s ok, I still had youthful exuberance as seen in this photo.
Well, as 121 riders lined up for the 8am start, we had a nice rain shower to send us on our way. Fortunately, the rain at this point was brief and didn’t impact the roads, but certainly made us question what was in store for the day.
The first leg of the ride took us 57 miles on a mostly Southern route to the town of Carney where we were to check in to get our map for the second leg of the ride.
As most of us that find our way to cycling or riding we think (and correct me if wrong) as ourselves as fit, semi-health conscience, and for some, fitness freaks. We drool over the newest, shiniest bike widgets that come to our local shop. Pouring over the equipment we use and energy snacks we fuel our bodies with during the adventures we undertake. We log those hard miles in ugly weather, we commute for the sake of saving fossil fuels and cutting down on our own vehicle induced stress.
What about the food we put into our bodies? Organic this, organic that…but where does it come from?
Our own Amy Decastro welds bikes and components here at Moots. She is super skilled and provides our days with an ever happy & humble attitude. You can learn more about Amy in the MOOTS CREW section of the community/blog area. Recently she did a class project that asked of her to present a digital media piece that focused on a Species or Conservation effort that interested her. She chose the subject of Sustainable Agriculture as a method of Biodiversity….that’s a mouth full, but is a subject we should all be aware of.
The clip above his her project. Have a watch and listen. I’d give her an A+.
http://www.vimeo.com/16534876We have had the fortune of working with some pretty talented people during our almost 30 year history. From our inside family that painstakingly hand builds our products, day in and day out, to the people we seek to help us in the other areas we are less talented. We’ve come across some great ones. This last year we met Jamie Kripke. He lives in the People’s Republic of Boulder….Colorado. He makes his living by taking some pretty dam cool photographs that span life and life in action. Lately he’s getting more into video and today he sent out this little snippet of Boulders well known Wednesday Worlds Cyclocross training session. Clean, smooth, soulful. I think he’s sharpening his video skills for something bigger to come…..he’s off to a nice start in my opinion….but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Jamie photographed the action shots you see on our website and in our 2011 product catalog….he is a joy to work with!
If you’d like to learn more about Jamie you can check out his web site that contains a really well written bio, a very nice portfolio and some pretty cool work.
After returning from his historic medal winning Winter Olympics, Johnny Spilane toured the far east, got news he is to be a daddy and got a new Moots to help him along during his summer training blocks. Not too long ago we had the chance to catch up with him and see how a Nordic Olympic athlete spends his summer training. This is what he had to say:
“The Nordic Combined training season consists of different periods all aimed at getting us to ski our very fastest during the championships or Olympics. The first block goes from May-August and it is our biggest period in terms of total hours. We won’t jump all much because our main focus is getting as big of a base as possible. During this time it is not uncommon for us to train between 20-25 hours a week. This is only xc hours and does not include time in the weight room or jumping time. In order to get in the big hours I have started spending a lot of time on road bikes. Over the last few years I have had a lot of surgeries and my body has been pretty beat up. The road bike allows me to comforatably train for 4-6 hours without feeling like a pile of mush afterwards! The other main reason I like the bike is I can maintain a constant heart rate for hours at a time. All of this adds up to a good solid base that we can start to build on. August through November is when we start doing more intensity workouts. Everything gets much shorter but much harder. During this time I do all of my intervals on rollerskis. It is as close to xc skiing as you can get without being on snow. I still ride my bike some, but mostly for easy recovery rides that are less than two hours. Once we get into November it is time to start racing!”
That sounds like a ton of good quality bike rides. Since we spoke to Johnny he has had major knee surgery to repair damage that was done during a wedding of all things. I’m sure we’ve all heard of that happening at one point or another…..he is human after all.