In England, March is a Spring month…

After a few weeks of delusional spring-like weather in Boulder, it seems like winter hasn’t quite loosened its grip yet. Maybe I just got carried away; going to the desert in the middle of February to race bikes got me in the mood for summer, and I’ve spent the last two weeks capitalising on the sunshine to actually start training for this season.

For anyone that doesn’t know, I raced the 24 hours of Old Pueblo with Epic Endurance Cycling down in Tucson, Arizona. It didn’t quite seem right racing bikes in February, but after not riding singletrack for a good 3 months I was really dying to ride some fun trails. It just so happened that the race course was 16 miles of the amazing flowy goodness that I was looking for. Having only ever been in Arizona for half an hour before that weekend, I was amazed by the cacti, and also amazed that it takes pliers to remove them from your skin when you punch one mid-lap.

24 Hours of Old Pueblo (17)

as always, the desert has the best sunsets.

24 Hours of Old Pueblo (21)

I raced surprisingly well. Spurred on by having a strong team, with teammates also riding really fast helped. There’s a good race report and write up here: www.cyclingnews.com.

The end result was not only 2nd place, but an agreement to race with Epic Endurance for the rest of the season. I’m happy to be racing with a team that I think I can work with, build on, and with teammates who I will be happy travelling and spending time with all summer. I’m looking forward to a mutually productive season. I hope that racing with and against Bryan and Jordan will give me goals to chase and people to pursue.

This weekend I chose to skip out on a training ride and head up to the snowy high country again. I can’t quite dedicate myself to summer when I know that the snow will only be around for another few months. Anyway, hiking peaks at 13,000 feet is pretty good exercise; my lungs and legs were screaming for mercy, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a couple extra laps on the steep stuff.

James carving a turn in the somewhat variable snow conditions:

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With snow forecast in Boulder this week, it looks like I’m going to be jumping on my trainer for the first time in a month. Along with training and work, I’m also planning my races for this year. I’ll be doing the Bailey Hundo, Firecracker 50, a few Mountain States cups (I know, people hate them, but they are true XC races with strong fields), and also the winter park series. Trying to decide which of the ProXCT races to do, but the decision will probably be made by work deadlines and the cost of plain tickets. I’d really like to go back to Sea Otter, and also races up in Montana and Wisconsin. I’ve just started building up a new bike; Going to be XTR 10 speed, Stan’s wheels, and I’m hoping to get hold of a Cannondale Frame to match the Lefty I just took delivery of.

For now though,  I’m stuck in that weird middle ground of wanting to Snowboard and Bike every weekend. Hopefully a trip to the Utah desert in the next month or so will kick start my season and lead to some good results. The next few months are going to get busy, but I’m looking forward to it!

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