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Old 04-06-06, 09:05 PM   #1
mtb-chop
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Passed by a Pro - This guy was MOVING!!!

So, I hit the northern Ft. Ord trails today (rode from my house) and was going to stay off of the Sea Otter course entirely because of traffic, but saw traffic was light so I rode a few miles of it. (Most of the course is down at the southern end - those are the most fun trails and for expediencies sake, I'll usually save those for the weekend rides when I have more time)

One of the trails I rode (#82) is pretty much uphill for the first 3/4 of a mile and pretty stinkin steep. I was with a group of folks some of which were riding in Sport class on Sunday (I've never raced and don't really have any plans to, but I've never considered myself slow). Needless to say, the climb pretty much strung us all out pretty far (this climb really sucks), but I was up about 40-50 ft behind the guys in front. I don't know about them, but I was in a 22x21 and moving right along, though definitely not breaking any speed records. By this point no one was doing much passing as all that got sorted out towards the bottom of the hill.

As I got to one straight section, I heard a bit of a commotion behind me and this dude wearing full Giant team gear just blew by me and a few seconds later the other three guys. He was out of the saddle and just hammering up that frickin hill and from as fast as he was going, he had to have been in the middle ring (if he even had a little one). Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think someone could go up that hill that fast. I now have a lot more respect for how fast those Pros actually go. I still just shake my head when I think about it.

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Old 04-06-06, 09:33 PM   #2
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I now have a lot more respect for how fast those Pros actually go. I still just shake my head when I think about it.
It really is unbelievable (and extremely humbling) to ride with pro-level guys - mtnbiker66 can tell you.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:47 PM   #3
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do it all the time.. not too humbling... they are just fast, never will fatigue when they are in ur sites, and when you get home they call you a slow poke :'(
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Old 04-06-06, 11:36 PM   #4
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One of the things about pursuing a passion like this is that even if you never excel you know what it looks like and how it got that way and just how freeking brilliant, brilliant is. A lot of schmoes in life who just don't even appreciate how good it can get.

I race cyclocross and get to watch the occasional pros with national and international skills on the same course I'm riding and as amazing as they are I couldn't know how good that was if I didn't race. The better I ride the better I can appreciate what they're doing.

Ron
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Old 04-07-06, 04:41 AM   #5
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Riding with pro level riders makes me see how good I'm not.
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Old 04-07-06, 05:11 AM   #6
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Riding with pro level riders makes me see how good I'm not.
QFT! I'ts amazing...
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Old 04-07-06, 06:54 AM   #7
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I remember last year being in a race and feeling like I was dying. It was a very muddy race, very rooty and rocky. This one section was particularly nasty, I was having a rough time walking it. Next thing I knew a rider named TJ Platt (not sure if he is expert or semi-pro) went past me (lapped me) like I was setting still. He rode it so smooth he made it look like a paved trail. It didn't help my pride any that he was on a single speed. I can't remember if it was rigid or not.
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Old 04-07-06, 11:10 AM   #8
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I just keep thinking how slow I would be if I was not riding regulary and how many can't pass me or keep up. I am just glad to be out there enjoying nature and getting better all the time. I usually don't bother beating others but I always try and beat my times vs. distances and measure my improvement that way. The one's that are racers and fly by me are amazing though since I think I am flying as well only to find out I am crawling to them.
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Old 04-07-06, 12:12 PM   #9
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It's even more humbling when they're in your class . It was my first season in Expert at the Nats in Schweitzer, ID. DHers go at 30 second intervals; and, well, I'm not even halfway down the run yet and two guys are nipping at my heals. Both get by on a wide stretch but I crank it up a notch and near the bottom at least get within spitting distance of one guy. I found out later he ran the lower half of the course on a flat and that's why I was catching him. Also turns out they were both So-Cal racers who race year 'round down in a Veteran Pro class. Sheesh.
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Old 04-07-06, 04:05 PM   #10
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Some years back, i was in the sport class then, I went to pre ride the course the day before the race. about a mile or two into it i have a pro classer i recognize (dont remember his name though) come up on me. I was feeling good and cranked to keep up. I stayed with him for a good 5 miles of the course....we flew....i mean flew.... It wasnt all about physical strenght, i mean, dont get me wrong, i was tired afterwards/spent too. but he tracked a beautiful line. Never used his brakes! just trusted his line and rode the course.... Till this day i remember that ride.

I raced the next day and visualized the day before. Im sure it wasnt as fast as tailing him on the pre ride but i know i rode fastener and smarter than i ever have.. I placed well at the finish and will never for get that ride.

much respect.....
- Jason!
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Old 04-07-06, 04:17 PM   #11
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When I was skateboarding semi-competatively, that was always the best way to get better was to ride with the gods as it were. In skating they're usually pretty chill and will whoop/whoop when someone waaay below their skill level busts to a new level. Can't say as much for cycling but it is a different sport. Less alpha dog in skateboarding. Getting smoked by a pro is pretty humbling, they make it look so damned effortless. Does anyone ride with one when not racing? Will he/she give you tips on better lines etc?
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Old 04-07-06, 04:24 PM   #12
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Picking a decent line makes a huge difference, and it's something I try and remember whenever I ride. I've been passed by superior riders a lot. The most vicious pounding was in the late 90's, when they were running the World Cup course in Canmore. I was pre-riding with some friends the week before the race, and I heard that familiar noise of somebody coming up behind me fast. Lo and behold, some skinny speed-demon in full Mapei team kit blows by us in the middle ring doing more than double our speed. We pursued, but he was gone from our sight in less than 20 seconds. To add insult to inury, he lapped us by the time we got to the 2/3 point of the loop. Sigh.
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Old 04-07-06, 04:34 PM   #13
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That’s why so many of us say we like pie.






What we are not telling is that many times its humble pie that we are eating.
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Old 04-07-06, 05:12 PM   #14
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yum with a side of I've-been-dropped-ice-cream
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Old 04-07-06, 06:05 PM   #15
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Seen that in my salad days. Got fried catching a big guy going fast. He said it was OK to draft. Bit later he said your turn to pull. Blew up again in 3 miles and gave my name as I pulled off. He replied, "Nice pull" and "Nelson Vails".
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Old 04-07-06, 06:23 PM   #16
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damn......



...and yes it's him in Quicksilver
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Old 04-07-06, 08:12 PM   #17
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Does anyone ride with one when not racing? Will he/she give you tips on better lines etc?
I ride with a couple of DH/4X guys . I don't race so it's fun to just try to hang on.One is real good about taking my son out and giving him tips.
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Old 04-08-06, 10:23 AM   #18
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Does anyone ride with one when not racing? Will he/she give you tips on better lines etc?

i ride with semi-pro... were good friends... he just tells me to push it.. never really any advice though...
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Old 04-08-06, 10:44 AM   #19
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I ride with various people. For the most part the dh/fr guys are chill and will help you out and explain how where and why they pick a certain line, xc guys tend to always be in race mode and rarely relax. They always seems to have the spandex in a bunch.
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Old 04-08-06, 12:14 PM   #20
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......... xc guys tend to always be in race mode and rarely relax. They always seems to have the spandex in a bunch.
Hey man, gotta keep the heartrate up in zone 3
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