Riding by the Numbers

BrianGT3

Active Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#1
Riding By The Numbers – 8/26/18

The blog title originates from a method I use when racing and training. A method that I ought to stick to and follow more, especially going into 2019. Going forward, this is my new plan going into the season, not figuring it out all over again mid-way through. A method I hope to share over the coming days, weeks and months. Earlier this season I didn't really follow this method. Neither with my training nor race day with consequences. The prior season was my fist full Cat 1 XC season. My “Ride By the Numbers” method worked well at a few races in 2017 where I podiumed. But somehow, I forgot about those lessons from ’17 and voluntarily repeated the same mistakes again this past season. Throughout each weekend race mental notes were taken.

I started this past season a little rough, I did a lot of lifting over the winter, not much riding. I went up about 15 lbs, but got pretty strong. Felt great out Ringwood for first race of season but no conditioning or long sustainable climbing. In addition to conditioning I also had a freak crash that involved hitting the dirt pretty hard the day prior. My right knee took the brunt of that fall which is already weaker from MX crash in 2009.

Regardless I raced day after at Ringwood and took 5th. I was suddenly back in the “hey this racing stuff is fun!”, mentality. Which leads up into:

When I don't “RBTN”, this is what can happen:

Late April I showed up to Allamuchy with no legs and blew up spectacular fashion on 2nd lap. Actually, I realized how screwed I was on the start of that race, there was nothing. I wanted to quit, but pushed on through the 3rd lap. That one hurt, I over did it. This also turned a small knee injury into a larger one. Not good!

After Allamuchy, the final weekend of April I did the tour de franklin 62 mile charity ride and killed my knee, couldn’t walk down stairs so I took most of May off so it could heal and not risk permanent injury.

After a good 3 weeks off I began riding at the end of May. Early June I spontaneously raced MASS Ramsey's Revenge to shock my system back into go fast mode. I did okay and took 8th. I think this got me a little fired up to compete again but forget how to do it smartly.

I decided to go out full bore at Stewart and blew up petty epic near the end of the 2nd lap. I still dug deep and finished. That hurt. A positive takeaway from this race was to know I could do it, I could go out of gate fast. being in a big group like that at start was intense, also shows the importance of a good grid position and out in front once you get into the woods. But I paid dearly for that decision and suffered at the end of the 2nd lap and all throughout the 3rd I had nothing. I think it's good to venture to that place, to understand what it feels like. Angry legs. Your legs don't want to move, you're getting passed every 2 minutes by every single guy in your class. I’m going ridiculously slow, nothing works. My core and upper body decide that they want to pedal the bike because my legs no longer aren’t and that’s really an inefficient way of riding a bike. It becomes a mental game, at that point to keep going and not quit. It's owning your bad decisions. The takeaway is it boosts the mental resilience a bit to that feeling and being in that place a little more comfortable.

It’s July: Back to riding by the numbers

Whatever method I had this first half of year was clearly not working. It was actually no method at all, just show up and ride! I guess that works sometimes. I went back to what worked the year prior. I began to plan my rides during the week, when to take off day, what days I need to ride at easy/moderate paces and distances, and then those few day’s to push myself. My gym routine, eating right, getting enough rest at night all fell in line as well. If my business or non-riding obligations tied me up, I took that opportunity to rest a little bit. Life will give you days off, 2-3 days of nothing can do you good.

Found myself at the DQ summer sizzler with a plan to Race By the Numbers. I started the race slow, moderate effort 1st lap. Picked it up a little on the 2nd lap and gridded top 3. 3rd laps I push, keep the mistakes low, momentum high and reel in race leader. Hang on his wheel, ran over tree roots to make noise to let him know I’m tailing. I hope putting pressure on him would lead to a mistake and easy pass. Unfortunately, that never happened, he was on point and wanted that win a little more. That one was an out of sprint power sprint to finish. Took a 2nd at the DQ summer sizzler.

Run same strategy at Kittatiny, take 3rd. That course was soaked from rain and super slick. Pacing myself gave my that extra 10% needed to ride the rocks and roots and catch the sporadic front end slides. Was pretty consistent but had nothing on the hills at the end.

2 weeks after I ran Churney gurney. I wasn’t expecting a good result, I was recovering from the flu. But it was important to get out and race at 90%, get a feel for it. So glad I did that race, it was a great experience. The conditions we slick and I was running the course blind, it was a good to get seat time in and ride based on feel. Took 4th In that race.

Next up was the H2H Finals up in Port Jervis NY. Conditions we’re also pretty slick, but by this time I had the bike and rider dialed in. A pre-ride also helped. I didn’t feel at 100% strength that day, but I liked the numbers I was seeing at race start. Took the lead early in race and controlled my 20 second cushion. Really hammered those hills, I recall at a point feeling like I should tone it down, give my legs a break, it’s okay you have a gap. But then another thought in my mind took over, do you want to drive home with 2nd place, knowing you go 2nd because you slacked? At that point my legs we’re working and handling the abuse, so I kept going. Ran an incredibly consistent race, hitting segment times +/- 10-15 seconds both laps and running both laps nearly identical. Took my first ever cat 1 win at Port Jervis! Still some take aways on how I would run that one differently, made a few tiny mistakes out there. Also cracked my frame! Luckily it held together up to finish.
Wrapping up the season strong and looking to do it right in 2019.

Riding By the Numbers 2019

Learned a lot this past year and these past 2 seasons racing Cat 1. I figured me out – well maybe not, but always getting a little closer. I learned when to rest and when to push, putting a plan together and going. This is not just on a raceday, but the days and weeks in between those weekends. It’s putting the quality seat time in. I’m beginning to see the big picture. 2019 is going to be a cool year, I want to get back to riding by the numbers.
Next up I’m putting a together a list of improvements and things to work on.
 

UtahJoe

Team Workhorse
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#4
Nice recap Brian, I know you have a pretty solid gym routine but what do you do on the bike? Road? Power meter?
 

fidodie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#5
Solid season! good recap. Looking forward to reading on.

how did your knee do through the end of the season?
 

BrianGT3

Active Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#11
Nice recap Brian, I know you have a pretty solid gym routine but what do you do on the bike? Road? Power meter?
I picked up a power meter right at the end of 2017, I've still been doing a lot of Heartrate Based Training and coorelating that data with my power meter. So I've come to expect a certain power output for duration of time at various heart rates. I'm planning to give power based training a go this year, more on that in a bit. According to training peaks 33% of my time is on the road bike, where I put in the bulk of my miles. Mountain bike follows behind at another 33%. The remaining 33% is split between gym time, swimming, running, hiking.

Road bike is good for lots of Zone 2 1.5 hr to 2 hr rides, , intervals and hitting hills.


Solid season! good recap. Looking forward to reading on.

how did your knee do through the end of the season?
Knee sometimes bugs me a little bit. I have a tough time identifying if it's from crash this past April, or just how it's always been. I gave myself a tibia plateau fracture in 2009, it's never been right since. It's always bothered me. I've accepted the fact it pops every time I stand up from a squat position! Once I get back into leg strength training it feels substancially better. I did unfortunately become left leg dominant again (my right knee has the issues). Hip flexors are quite a bit weaker on my right side. So I will need to address this in the winter with some exercises to even things out.


Great read. What kind of stuff do you focus on in the gym that you feel benefits you on the bike?
This past winter I did a full circuit: Leg Day, Upper Body, Core, and Core/Balance. I was at gym 4x week. From May 2018 onwards, I did core 1x a week and upper body 1x week. I hoping to go more into detail on my workouts as I go into the off season. I gained some big improvements doing leg strength training.

For me the biggest benefit have been the core workouts. Core is so important to any sport, especially mountain biking. This past winter one day per week was strictly core (targeting the main muscle groups), another "core" day would be a mix of core & balance workouts. I found creative ways to work on balance and coordination with swiss and bosu balls. I know in years past I tended to neglect my core workouts. The workouts on bike and leg stuff always took priority. But during races as I got fatigud my riding would get super sloppy. Due to my weak core my riding position would suffer leading to me getting ping pong'd off rocks and roots leading to even more fatigue! This this leads to more mistakes, more pedaling to get going again, even more fatigue - yea a mess.

I really put an emphasis on it this year and it definitely helped. I notice during riding and looking a photos my riding position stays pretty consistent in the seat, out of seat and during cornering. Also a few times I had some big front end slides in races and keeping good balance on my feet on those pedals helped ride it out without crashing.

I just want to know what bike you are getting next... Nice start to this thread
Should come this week or next! It's going to be a surprise! As a hint it's new for this model year, the manufacturer stopped making this model a few years ago and recently brought it back. I demo rode one at 6 mile this past summer, really like it. Rides like a mini trail bike.

@BrianGT3 i like this thread and will follow. What numbers are you riding by? Watts? Prime numbers?
Heartrate, Cadence, Watts and Lap times! I guess at times they could be prime numbers mixed with some composite numbers :-D

1.618, the golden number
915px-Fibonacci_spiral_34.svg.png


.
 

BrianGT3

Active Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#13
FTP Analysis Baseline and Fun with Math – 8/26/18

So I did a Functional Threshold Power Test this past Tuesday and came out with mixed feelings. I’ve been doing Heartrate Based training since 2015 and want to move into power based training and work with the two going forward for better results and structure. I realized this year I need to put more work into being a better climber, it’s been a weakness of mine that needs to be addressed.

In hindsight it was maybe not the best time to do a FTP test as it was pretty freakin hot yesterday! My Garmin was indicating an average temperature of 85 degrees with humidity and sun. Maybe I could’ve rested more, waited another day, waited till it was cooler yadda yadda. I went out for a baseline and got after it. The important thing is I figured out a good test route, had clear a clear road to do the run. I also know for future tests how to prep and how I will feel the day after to do these every 4 – 6 weeks. They suck but are necessary.

I made my way to South on Canal Road down to Rt 27 and did a 180 and came back and ran nearly all the way to Amwell going full bore. I put out a 100% effort. Legs began to burn, heavy breathing, dry mouth and bad nausea the final 2 minutes. This resulted in my oatmeal breakfast winding up on canal road. I guess that was a solid effort? I was beat the rest of the day. This one took some mental fortitude

This is where we wound up with data:

Average Heartrate 180 bpm / 185 max

Average Cadence 84 rpm / 112 max

Average Power 269 W / 272 Nominal Power

So that would put my Functional Threshold Power at ~258 W (=272*0.95)

So then my power Based Training Zones would be:

1 - < 55 % = < 142 W

2 - < 75 % = < 194 W

3 - < 90% = < 232 W

4 - < 105% = < 271 W

5 - < 120% = < 310 W

6 - < 150% = < 388 W

Comparing with my current method of HR based training, the Watts corresponded pretty accurately for my Average Power during time spend in the same # Heartrate Zones. For example: Zone 2 ride would put my heartrate between 126 bpm – 145 bpm. I did a bunch of Zone 2 rides last week and NP was 182w, 180w & 173w, we’re right there. So I’d say the test I did was fairly accurate.

So with this being my first legitimate and intentional FTP test, I went out expecting to crush my prior number. My all-time peak was end of April not even doing a test!!! I was riding in the Tour De Franklin.

Training Peaks gave me some other 20 Min all time Peaks, but these were 5 – 10 min efforts with short break so they don’t count.

Back on April I did the Tour De Franklin and got a late start, I was pushing in the beginning trying to catch up to lead group. On a 20min segment I was able to obtain:

Average Heartrate 164 bpm/ 175 max

Average Cadence 84 rpm / 103 max

Average Power 277 W / 296 NP

Back home I was a little pissed off at myself for not beating my all time PR from April. This is when my conditioning wasn’t all that great and I was 15 lbs heavier! What the???

Looking at Average Power, pretty close at 8 W, nominal power has a 24 W difference. However, my heartrate was substantially lower (164 avg), putting me in the tempo Zone 3 and getting into Zone 4, telling me I could’ve gone even harder if the intent was a FTP test at that time.

If I had more free time and more data easily accessibly I guess I could do my “theoretical power output if I was 180+ at that time”. Maybe I can figure this out down the road?

Factoring in the weight different though we change things.

-Back in April I was at 175 lbs, and today currently sit at 160 lbs.

-After converting lbs to KG,

-3.75 Watt/Kg in April

-3.77 Watt/Kg August

So I am “stronger” now going off W/Kg, but not by much.

Now let’s plug in the same numbers achieved in April but drop my weight to it’s current level. I get 4.1 W/Kg, big 8% boost! Whoa

For sure I was physically stronger back in March & April. I felt it, but weight was high and conditioning wasn’t there. I remember while racing Ringwood in Mid-April that after climbs my heartrate wouldn’t come down, but on the tech stuff and punchy climbs I had “power on demand” and could punch through the stuff. It felt awesome.

I think jacking up my knee, stopping the leg workouts, taking time off the bike most likely contributed to the loss of strength but I was able to salvage something and finish the year right.

The leg strength routine worked for me this past winter, but my lack of conditioning training hurt. I didn’t ride much over the winter, maybe 1x to 2x a week on rollers, 30 – 45 min rides, not many intervals. I in a way became more of a track sprinter but not endurance. I think getting a NP greater than 300w is absolutely attainable, I’d like to push that threshold even further over the next 6 months and see where it goes. Climbing has been a weak point for me that needs improvement, the plan should help.

It was a good baseline yesterday and has me motivated for the months ahead. I think a blend of strength and power training again over winter combined with time in the saddle can net a higher power output next year.

Also some random bonus mental notes:

-Should’ve hit my lap timer on start and finish for 20 min run, this will make data collection easier the more of these I do in the future.

-Need to set up a new display field on my garmin, : show lap time, avg power (maybe over 10 sec duration), avg 3 sec power, heartrate and cadence for these things.

-Should’ve started out a little slower! I struggled the final 5 min

-Also wait longer time after breakfast to do FTP test!

Thanks for reading!
 

rottin'

Well-Known Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#14
Interesting reading about your struggle to switch over to power based training after so long using HR. I had the same challenge a few years ago when I made the same transition after years of being conditioned to use HR. Now I do not use HR for anything, really. I haven't worn my HR strap in probably two years...when I was working with a coach the few years XC nationals were here we used it more as a function of fitness on the short hard intervals to see how quickly it came back down during the recovery spins between sprints. Other than that every workout was based on power zones.

You'll push your FTP up in no time, part of that is a) getting stronger, fitter etc. which you are clearly motivated to do and b) knowing how to do the test to get the most out of it. My first one, shit maybe 3 ftp tests, I went out too hard and just slowly bled watts until I hit the 20 min mark.

Enjoy reading this. Keep it up
 

shrpshtr325

Infinite Source of Sarcasm
#15
interesting read, i did the same thing earlier this year when i bought a power meter, the 20 minute tests dont get easier, (or at least mine havent) but they do make training alot more qualitative once you have those numbers to base it off of
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#16
I have never been a huge fan of frequent/repeated FTP testing. It doesn't hurt to do it from time to time but as you illustrate with your post, you will always put out numbers that are higher when you ride/race with other people. Go out and do it by yourself, they go down. Go inside, they go down again. These tests are good for establishing some baseline to silo your training. But what does a test in 6 weeks do? It really just measures your ability to do this specific test on some specific day.

What happens if you suffer from seasonal allergies just a little bit but don't realize it. Imagine if this hinders you like 4%. Not enough to bother you on a day to day basis but when you do your test, it gives you a number 4% lower than the last test? Do you stop training? Go on a drinking binge? Throw things? There are a lot of possible scenarios that can derail your test day. I find it hard to put much stock in these one-offs.

My point is this. You either believe in your training routine, or you don't. If you firmly believe that what you are doing is the right thing, then keep doing it. If you're unsure then maybe some testing protocol is in order. But to do this every 4-6 weeks is, to me, overkill.
 

BrianGT3

Active Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#18
I have never been a huge fan of frequent/repeated FTP testing. It doesn't hurt to do it from time to time but as you illustrate with your post, you will always put out numbers that are higher when you ride/race with other people. Go out and do it by yourself, they go down. Go inside, they go down again. These tests are good for establishing some baseline to silo your training. But what does a test in 6 weeks do? It really just measures your ability to do this specific test on some specific day.

What happens if you suffer from seasonal allergies just a little bit but don't realize it. Imagine if this hinders you like 4%. Not enough to bother you on a day to day basis but when you do your test, it gives you a number 4% lower than the last test? Do you stop training? Go on a drinking binge? Throw things? There are a lot of possible scenarios that can derail your test day. I find it hard to put much stock in these one-offs.

My point is this. You either believe in your training routine, or you don't. If you firmly believe that what you are doing is the right thing, then keep doing it. If you're unsure then maybe some testing protocol is in order. But to do this every 4-6 weeks is, to me, overkill.

All good points, every 4 - 6 weeks is the goal, but I'm not losing sleep if I don't do it with in that time frame or if I'm getting the exact same results 3 - 5 weeks from now or 5 -10W under.

If FTP tests are dropping, I'm sucking at races, not hitting PR's on Strava, feeling tired, dropping weight, yea now it's time to reanalyze a bunch of stuff.

To me it's just another metric to measure progress, especially during the off season when I'm not racing or the opportunities to ride with other people are limited. This is going to be important this coming winter when I'm stuck inside doing long boring rides in my kitchen on the rollers.

In the future I'd like to get a power meter for mtn bike as well, more data can never hurt. I week into this I'm feeling good and liking the power meter training thus far.
 

qclabrat

Well-Known Member
#19
Enjoying the details in your write up Brian, I'm not training for anything but have always been curious about monitoring progress by either HR or power. I haven't figured out the math portion yet, but wonder why HR and power data is not used together. As Norm mentioned, more or less of a data point is just a single event which doesn't tell the full story. Especially in cases of the infrequent FTPs, I'd think more data is better than less.
 

BrianGT3

Active Member
Team MTBNJ Halter's
#20
Round Top Rally

This past Sunday I made my way up to Round Top NY for the final Race of the New York State Mountain Bike Series held on the XC trails around Reidlbauer’s Resort in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate NY.

This was my final XC Sprint Race of 2018 and a great opportunity to do proper a shake down of my new XC Bike, a 2018 Santa Cruz Blur. (I’m planning to post of a more in depth review as a separate post at some point this coming week and won’t go into much detail on my thoughts here other than the bike freaking rocks!)

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Week Leading up to the race:

Tuesday – In the morning I did some 5 x 8 minute Zone 4 Intervals putting out a consistent NP of ~260 Watts for each run. Later that day I picked up my new 2018 SC Blur from Halter’s Cycles and built it up that evening in about 3 hours. With work being a little crazy last week, I wanted to have bike together 100% before I got out on the bike on Thursday for a shakedown.

Thursday - Did Chimney Rock Thursday night ride for the bike’s maiden voyage. During the Thurs evening ride I managed to get my first flat aboard the blur! I dumped the bike into a rocky corner and popped the bead off of the rear tire. This was probably my fault, I re-used the existing sealant from the tire that was previously installed on my epic which didn’t make a good seal. When the bead popped this also slightly dented the rim and knocked the wheel out of true! Had to spend some time that night re-tensioning my spokes! Also got my first crash out of the way too, pedal clipped a tree stump hiding in some brush immediately stopping the bike. All good, rider and bike escaped unscathed. Regardless of my oopsies, I was pretty happy with the Blur and looked forward to riding again the coming weekend. It absolutely ate up the rocks around Chimney Rock. I was hanging with @pooriggy about his SC Tallboy. Blur felt awesome, I just needed to adjust and tweak some things before the race.

Friday - I made my way out to west NJ to meet up with my friend Jonny G. Halter’s had a bike of his that I also picked up with mine, so I brought it out to him and we wound up doing a 40 mile road bike ride along the Delaware River for cookies and coffee. It was a good time and great ride, weather held out for the most part. There are some incredibly scenic views and high bluffs along the river north of Frenchtown.

Saturday - I did an easy 40 minute zone 1 recovery ride and came home and spent a good 30 minutes doing lots of stretching and foam rolling. That morning I also took the time to go over the Blur, recheck all (almost all) of the bolts and spoke tensions. I also got all of my gear together. The only thing I wanted to do Sunday was wake up, relax a bit in the morning, load car with bike & gear then drive up North.

Sunday – Race Day! IWoke up, ate my sausage & Spinach omelet and watched some UCI XCO racing and left around 915am and got up to upstate NY around 1130am. Got signed in and unloaded my bike and had my 2nd breakfast of oatmeal, geared up and went up for a sighting lap. This was my first time ever racing here, so I figured it would be helpful to know where I am going! I was pretty happy I did manage to get a lap in. The course put us on this section of trail called the “grand canyon” You pretty much bumble down a ravine into the steep loose shale braking zone into a tight left hander down another steep hill. This part of the trail is something you’re more likely to find on an Enduro Stage, not an XC Race! I really wish I had my phone on me during my sighting lap to take a photo of how gnarly it was. The rest of the course was great, good mix of flow, rocks, tech and punchy climbs. Small section with a gravel road climb and paved road descent back to single track. I wound up doing about 7/8 of the course and missed out checking out the final tech section due to time constraints, race started at 1pm. The Catskills area of NY managed to escape all the rain we had the prior week and was bone dry. The terrain reminded me a lot of the Port Jervis course I ran a few weeks prior for the Final H2H race Peter Point Pounder, just dry, and way more pine cones. The techy stuff was a mix of loose shale and pointy rocks. The bike felt awesome on it, at this point I saw no need to adjust anything related to suspensions settings or tire pressures. I debated dropping pressures a little bit, but to the rocks, dryness I decided to keep them were they were at. 22 Front, 25 Rear.

I get a good start and slot into 3rd place going into the single track, I notice 2nd place making some mistakes while the race leader (Steve) builds a gap on us. I give it some gas and pass the 2nd place rider on an open stretch before some more single track. During the first lap I noticed a guy tailing me so I gas it up some hills to drop him which I was able to do. Now to focus on reeling in the race leader Steve, he had about a 15 – 20 second gap on me and was pushing on Lap 1. Entering Lap 2 I made a bunch of small mistakes. 4 times I pushed the front end too much. 3x was at slow speed where I had to un-clip and come to a stop and dab a foot or risk falling. This of course happened at the base of a little punchy climb killing all of my momentum. On the long fun windy double track downhill part of the course, I hit some lose gravel at speed. Massive front end tuck ‘n slide that I recovered from with a quick little foot dab - but lost a lot momentum in the process. Clipped a tree with bar edge twice during Lap 2. There was no crash both times, just ping ponged off of the trail, stop, dismount and get going again in the right direction.

RTR Start Finihs.jpg


My worst mistake of the day was an issue that I took notice of finishing lap 2 and was getting progressively worse throughout lap 3. Aside from my right calf muscle starting to cramp up on the climbs. I mentioned earlier that I checked all the bolts after my Chimney Rock Ride. Well the only thing I did not check was the 4 bolts that hold my handle bar to stem! The top 2 managed to come a tad loose, so the bar would twist on the downhills. My palms pushed down on the backside of my bar rotating them upwards! I couldn’t grab my brakes, had to twist them while bouncing down the trail to grab some brakes. Yea no good. I debated riding it out to end of the race, but changed that thought. I wondered if I could fix while riding on the gravel & paved road segment of course, but being that I was not familiar with their location nor size (couldn’t see them, they were covered with my garmin and number plate) I stopped on the gravel rode to fix it really quick with a micro multi tool I threw in my jersey. Once the bars were tight I wrapped up lap 3 pretty strong and crushed the final tech segment and wind up finishing 2nd place in my class. The course was amazing and a lot of fun to ride, one of my favorite venues this year.

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Lots of little mistakes during this race. Each mistake easily can cost you 10 – 15 seconds, stopping on the road to fix bars lost me nearly a minute. This is how racing goes sometimes! I attribute all of them to my unfamiliarity with the Blur. This was my second ever outing on the bike, and first time really pushing it. I came away incredibly impressed, so psyched to race this thing next year and get some endurance races in later this month and in October. I was really happy I netted a 2nd place finish despite the set backs. I felt confident on the bike, it’s pretty forgiving, way more than my old epic, and I don’t have a feel yet for the last 5 – 10% of it’s capabilities. This will all come in time after getting some rides in.

Overall the race went well. I was able to push myself all 3 laps. Maybe for some people a day like this would be immensely frustrating, I look at it as just part of learning a new bike and racing an unfamiliar venue. Segments were fairly consistent, 92% of the race I kept my heartrate in the Zone 4 range and never went above into 5 at any point. Overall laps were somewhat consistent, 27:04 Lap 1, 28:16 Lap 2, 28:50 Lap 3. Mistakes make consistency tough. According to the strava, my time during Lap 1 puts me 6th overall, 2nd fastest that day. Goal going into 2019 is to get my conditioning up to snuff this winter to run that pace for 3. I think if I skipped that big 40 mile on Friday and checked those 4 handle bar bolts I could’ve contented for another Race Win, but as they say, that’s racing. It’s why I love this sport, always something to work on and do better.

For those of you reading this and into racing, I encourage you to come out and participate in more NYS MTB Series Races. Not only was the course a lot of fun and well laid out, the event was held at Reidlbauer’s Resort. It’s a German-American resort I guess? They had Oktoberfest Beers, Food and Music blasting the whole time. Made for a great time, everyone there is super friendly. Not only did I finish 2nd place on Sunday, that result also netted me enough points for a 3rd place overall in the NYS MTB Series in 19-39 Cat 1. This complements a 3rd overall finish in the H2H series as well. Looking back, the 2018 XC Sprint Race Season went well. I have two more endurance races coming up, Bearscat 50 and also looking to do the Erie 80. Then begins the process of building strength and conditioning for 2019 as well as learning a new bike.

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Thanks for Reading