Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Toasted knee+Red Rock Rampage Race=no more riding for a while

here i am doing a bit of my "billy idol" lip thing. really i just am going way to fast for this rock section and was hoping if the camara was going to capture my crash i would at least look kool falling. but no, i made it.

i had a really great time at 2009 red rock rampage race in saint george this weekend. unfortunatley it ends with me taking 2 months off of riding.

got there the day before to pre-ride the course with team revolution/peak fasteners. meet some more nice people on the team and we went for a causual ride around this FUN course. it starts with a 1/4 mile of fairly smooth hardpack fire road with small rolling hills and occaional ruts and dugouts.
then we head up a natural 15 foot "U" shape cut out of hard sandstone with stairsteps ranging from 4" to 24". the higher ones have helper rocks that sometimes help, sometimes not.
some uphill single track then a fast downhill singletrack that has an occasional rocky outcropping at surprizing moments. they come up fast!!

another u-shape uphill staircase and more uphill single track that get steeper at the top. we finish with more very fast downhill singletrack that dumps us on a fast fireroad to the start/finish.

during the preride i had just a hint of knee pain. like having your dates mother along tapping you on the shoulder saying "i'm here in case you forgot!!"
got myself to sleep early, then 40-60mph winds kicked up thru the night. woke up to a perfect day, very light breeze.

it was packed. all the catagories had double the amount of entries. people were pumped for this race. chomping at the bit!!

my division had two rows of 15 plus half that. my plan was to start off conservative but keep near the front incase my knee felt better.

did just that on the first lap, but knee pain started to rise. had the lead guy no farther than 50-100 yards.
by the second lap, the knee pain was way past what it was last week and i threw in the towel and decided to just joyride and finish.
i managed to flat the rear tire on the second lap. poked a small hole thru the top of the tire instead of the sidewall like the 40-50 other flats i saw on the course. there are not really alot of rocks, but the ones that are there are sharp and your high speed gives no room for error.

once i backed off and was using granny gears, the pain subsided some, but never went away. of course everybody and thier grandma passed me and i even got lapped by some of the pro leaders.
i was running higher pressure and loosing traction, felt safer against flats, but i was wrong.
i lowered air pressure on the third lap and felt more confident as far as traction on the fast parts, but not on the rocky parts. i did wind up tearing up the front tire sidwall with lower pressure and having to throw away that tire after the race.

here is the new teams double wide tent. nice having support other than a bar-b-q and cold bears like before. tools, mechanics, loner parts and nice guys.

my bike performed flawless and i am quite happy with everything cept for my new 3 gram water bottle holder. just would not hold a bottle with more than 1/2 full on the extreme rough section. i will go back to my 14 gram i had before.

this was early and people hanging out, smoozing, getting amped up for the race.

saw this matrix bike. wasn't too impressed. it looked sharp like it would cheese grate your leg if ya fell. a mud catcher for sure as well.

i will poach more pics as they come up.

my knee is toasted. sharp pain in the mcl and lcl and possible cartilage. new plan is "no riding" for two months. this will have me miss enough races to take me out of the series points and bigger sponsorship next year.

very depressing, but not much i can do at this point. more emailing back and forth with knee specialist has got me more info on how knees repair. i have tore my knees my twice before bad and they healed. they repair but are more prone to damage after that. i thought they would be just a little weaker, not alot.

this means all new approach to training and in relation to distances and force vs spinning.

live and learn i guess. this year after i rest knee damage will be spent just training......another year no racing. i will attend and join races for the course experience, but not at race speed or intensity.

i could just enter a lower division, but even with my painful knee and joy riding this weekend i was still 10 miniutes faster than the first place in the next lower group. so that would not do.

after taking seven years off to heal my back, now i have to take another year off. that is my humbling situation. i am going to go crawl in my hole and make all new plans, perspectives, projections, graphs and charts.....and cry...