|The Showshoe Scurry in Madison was a great local race|
Off season and rehab
Now that we are on to the first full day of spring I think it’s officially time to wrap up the fat bike season and declare open the spring base training.
It was a tough fall and early winter for me as I battled through a knee injury. I had to cut my cyclocross season short and focus on rehab and recovery. I’m happy to report that I made a successful recovery (for now) and am back to my normal training routine.
I was also able to dabble into fat bike racing a little this winter on the new Cannondale Fat CAAD. It was a bit rough getting going again and chasing some lost fitness from my time off due to injury. Mostly my winter routine was 3 days of fat bike riding per week, 2 days of lifting, and 2 days of rest. Rehab was still twice/day every day.
On weekends I was able to hit up the new local Fat and Driftless series races around Madison. These races were put on my Lee Unwin and I get a sense this is the start of something good in the area.
|I also added the Badger State Games fat bike title this winter|
Through the local race season I had several good battles with Tim Hacker. For those not familiar with Tim, he was one of the best runners in the US for quite some time and has now made the transition to racing bikes. I can tell you, he is still a tough out in the bike fitness department! I think we each won 2 Fat and Driftless series races and got second in an additional 2 so we tied for the series title… although I’m still awaiting official word.
Fat Bike Birkie
I really only had one fat bike racing goal race this year though and that was the Fat Birkie. For those who haven’t discovered this yet, it’s fast becoming something big. I think there were 1000 riders this year and it seems to keep growing each year. I expect some day in the not to distant future it will rival Chequamegon Fat Tire and/or the XC ski Birkie in numbers and prestige.
Leading up to the race I broke from my normal winter routine the last two weeks and got some road rides in on the cross bike and Quarq power meter. It seemed I was down a few watts from the summer but this was to be expected.
All still seemed to be looking OK for a strong race then Birkie race week I got a flu bug Sunday night. It was weds night before I could eat solid food again. Not the best race prep. I hardly rode at all that week. Surprisingly my form was good on race day and despite struggling a little early with traction with some light tires I found myself in a lead breakaway of 3 after the race’s halfway point. I was suffering badly but just able to hold on. Will Ross was clearly the strongest rider in the race and I knew as soon as he put the hammer down I was going to be in a world of pain. That happened with about 3 miles to go and I ended up trying to hold on to 3rd by myself. I was totally spent and I think the flu bug had left my glycogen stores a little more empty than normal. I had to take a gel with only 2 miles left just to feel like I could get to the line. OUCH! I ended up getting caught by the chase group of 4 riders with just a mile left and rode in for 7th. Not the placing I was hoping for but given the week and my prep I was happy.
|Birkie Lead Out|
|Hammering with the lead pack|
After fat birkie it was time for a 10 day mini “off season” before cranking up the official base training again. It looks like the dirt came early for us this year and I’ve been working hard getting the new bike built and ready for action. Now time for the trial of miles….