'Tis the season. Been doing this for the past few years...and since everyone else does....why not. So, here it is. The random 'best of' for the 2009 riding and racing year.
Best New Race I Took Part In: Breck-Epic Stage Race
What is not to like? You get to race your bike on sweet terrain at altitude for 6 days...and throw up in your mouth a little. Awesome!
Best Race Day on the Bike: Tie. Pierre's Hole 100 and the Ouachita Challenge
Both races proved that good training and timing allow for hard events to feel effortless. Oh, and a kick ass course helps as well.
Best Race I didn't Race: Breck 100
I was in recovery mode after the Breck-Epic Stage Race. So, I spend the weekend supporting, riding, and filming Yuki and Sonya racing. It was exciting to watch all the riders come in after their 3 loop race. By far the hardest 100 mile race in Colorado. Yes, way harder than the Leadville 100.
Best Road Trip: Park City Point 2 Point
Kick butt course.....awesome lodging.....a burning semi on I-80....and killer race format made this thee trip of the year. Check the video!
Best New Product: Magura Marta SL Brakes
Power and modulation...and custom team colors! I went the entire racing and training season with no issues or maintenance on all my team bikes. Runner up would be my Cratoni Terron helmet.
Best Adventure Riding Weekend: A simple 3 day trip to Moab.
This was the first time to Moab to 'just ride'. All the previous times were to race...or do something associated with racing. We excellent to ride with Sonya and Yuki with out having to run the HR at red-line.
Best Picture I Took:
This one is always hard. My criteria is location, composition, and the story that goes along with it. This is from a 3 day training weekend outside Salida, CO. Rider is Sonya Looney descending a steepish drop on the Colorado Trail surrounded by aspen trees and rocks 'o' plenty.
Best Picture Someone took of Me:
Eddie Clark from Photo-Cycle.com took this image at the Breck-Epic Stage race. Elevation? About 12,000 ft on Wheeler Pass. Image made it into Mountain Flyer Magazine as a 2 page spread.
Best "I don't think I am going to make it" Moment: Just this past November when Sonya, Yuki, and I were doing a big loop in Moab, UT. We lost the trail on Poison Spider, and spent a good hour plus looking for it while the sun started to drop behind the slickrock. We had no secondary light source...super FAIL on our part. So that means we would have had to stop searching...spend the night...then start searching again in the AM. Luckily, we did some clever navigating and made our way dwon to the Colorado River and the road we needed to get back to Moab/camp. We arrived back to camp under darkness.
Best Time Suck of 2009: Last year it was Facebook. This year it is Twitter. Next year what? Twitbook?
Best 1/2 Day Ride: Lenawee Trail
All the photos here.
Best Day Dreaming Subject: Colorado Trail Race
Can't stop thinking about it. That is why I am going all in for 2010. 500 miles and self supported. What is not to like? Here is a good recap from this year.
And there you have it!