And just like that, it’s race season. I’m preparing to head to Moab for a long weekend of racing and riding bikes, and I cannot wait! Moab Rocks has been going on for a few years, but this is the first time it’s moved to the spring, instead of autumn. That’s made it much more appealing, and I think the field will be a lot stronger as a result. I’ve been seeing lots of the Durango riders making regular trips to Moab in order to pre-ride the stages, which has me a little scared. I’ve firmly put this race in the “enjoy myself and get fitter” column on the race schedule, but I know that you can’t turn up to any pro level race in this part of the world without encountering serious riders with their game faces on.
I’ll be riding my trail bike for this race, a Scott Genius. Not sure if it’s the ideal choice, but it’s the only one I’ve got for now so I’ll deal with it. I’ve put on the standard Maxxis Ikon 2.2 tires, and the bike weighs in pretty light at around 24.5 lbs, so I don’t think I’ll be too disadvantaged. The first stage climbs to the top of Porcupine Rim on a service road, and this will be the main part of the race where I might lose some time. The bike has the awesome Twinloc suspension lockouts, so I’m sure I’ll be just fine. I’ve got a new Scott Spark on the way for the rest of the season, and although I was hoping it would make it in time for this weekend, it might well be a blessing in disguise.
Fitness feels good. I’ve trained more than in previous years, including more time with some fast group rides on the road. I’ve also been riding the trail bike a lot on our new back door trails around Lyons. I’m hoping the combination of both road and trail time will set me in good stead, and even though I haven’t ridden the Porcupine Rim trail for a while, I think I can remember it well enough to get by. After Moab Rocks I’ve got another few weeks of training before jetting off to the Sea Otter Classic in California, and then the first goal of the season at the Whiskey 50 at the end of April. I’ve really enjoyed starting the race season a little later this year, and I hope it will pay off later in the season with some more base fitness to call upon, and some motivation to keep racing until the very end of the summer. As always in Colorado, our best mountain bike races don’t get going until August.