Sunday, June 25, 2017

26 Isn't Dead

I keep hearing how the 26 inch wheel is so obsolete. How it is a retrogrouch and luddite wheelsize.

Yet in the last 3 years of hearing this. Listening to the endless wheel size bullshit grinding drivel from the bike industry marketing actuaries. I keep seeing visual proof that it isn't just going away. All despite the marketing that suggests that being on a 26 inch wheel is less fun and makes you slower.

Slower? Really? Hmm....the last 2 Substance Projects half marathon podium placings say other wise. The leaving of the vaunted 29er wheelsize in it's dust. But that is impossible, I mean the industry told us that it will solve all riding problems right? The bike industry would never lie would it? Sure I readily admit that I have had a 29er mtb and like many bought it because it was new and so on.

But in the end it left me wanting as at the time 2009 the geometry sucked.

I started riding in Whistler BC and the trails of Mt Fromme. I liked a bike to wheely and get over stuff. Shouldn't have to feel like am fighting the bike.And when after a year it turned out to be meodiocre at best. Went back to the 26". And then tried again 2 years ago and ended up with the same ugh feeling. No matter what I tried. Sure there is a possible way but do I really want to cough up a $1000 ? Not at this time.

And I still am riding the Chromag Samurai is the 26 inch wheel size. Is it less fun? Nope. Is it slower? According to race and Strava times? Nope.  Does it go hard and handle everything I throw at it. Yep.

Nope.....26 Isn't  Dead.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

2017 Northumberland Humbler Half Marathon

June 3rd was the date of this years Northumberland Humbler and after missing last year it would be another visit.

Meat Loading

Before leaving I had tossed my second pair of clipless shoes in the SUV. Something made me do it and turns out it was a good thing. After getting signed in and while getting geared up discovered one of my hard sole shoes soles was delaminating. While it was just the toe area, not taking any chances grabbed the extra's I tossed in and was ready.

With the wailing of Dan's siren it was race time. I got off to a better start this time and was faster so was a wee bit further up than normal. Without even realizing it the first 6 k went by quick and I realized like many went out fast for that first 6k. At that point to avoid blowing up later deliberately dropped to an slightly easier gear and spun more. I mean the course will be enough of a challenge so why make it harder?

Kept the focus on being smooth and not worrying about chasing anyone down. That is till the aid station at the half way point. That is where the racing starts.

Picked up the pace and began to catch people who had ridden hard for the first half.  Kept trying to be smooth and being smart. Soon it was the 5k to go mark and caught what I didn't know at the time was the 3rd place Clydesdale. For the next 2km we alternated passing each other a few times till just before the final road crossing where after getting by. Opened the gap on the downhill then it was the last road crossing and a stretch of logging road. Time trialed the logging road.

Just before going into the last bit of singletrack glanced back and saw no one in sight. Had opened a huge gap. Then it was the 1k mark and kept up the pace as didn't know if someone was close.

And coming out of the woods it was the finish and done. It wasn't till later that I found out I had earned 3rd. And had opened a massive 3 minute gap on the 4th place Clydesdale.

Northumberland Humbler Cldesdale Results

That produced 2 Lapdogs on the podium. And for those keeping score at home there is two Lapdogs in 1st and 2nd in the series overall in the Clydesdale Category. Overall happy as tactically had used my head and waited to the second half to become the hunter and make up ground.

I should mention thanks to my wife Joely who helped plan my being able to race while she is at CISM World's in Florida. Greatest coach in the world and the love of my life.