Wednesday, January 15, 2014

All Kinds of New

I usually don't blog unless I have a race or trip to write about. I haven't raced or taken a trip since last October, so why the blog update? The reason is change. This off season has brought about a lot of change for me and the upcoming season.

Toasted Head Racing
As most of you who will be reading this already know, I have joined an incredible new team. Toasted Head Racing is comprised of athletes focused on competing in most disciplines of mountain biking and cyclocross. The team will be heavily focused on the National Ultra Endurance series and the American Ultra Cross series, as well as teammates competing in the likes of Dirty Kanza, Trans Iowa, Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic and the Breck Epic. If you have never heard of Toasted Head Racing before, I assure you that once the season gets underway, you will quickly become familiar with the THR family.

As tough as it was to make this decision, I have decided to stick to gravel and only gravel this season. I will once gain be on gears and focused on the American Ultra Cross series as well as the Blue Ridge Monster Cross series. Fortunately, ultracross races seem to be gaining popularity and are popping out of the wood work. I am keeping my eyes open and will be adding races to my schedule as the dates become available. Unfortunately, I will not be participating in some of my favorite races and formats this year such as PMBAR, P111k, Double Dare and the NUE series.

With the change to my racing format focus, I have spent this off season specifically training for the 3-4 hour time frame which will encompass most of my races. This means that I have spent more time than in years past working on higher intensity efforts which I hope will result in greater speed in these gravel races. I have been feeling great on the bike and I am noticing positive changes in which I am looking forward to testing out at Southern X on February 22.

Another change that I am excited about is in the stable. The Epic has moved on to the frigid North and the Carve will be dismissed once it's replacement arrives. In due time, my stable will once again be full however this season I will be racing on a Cannondale. After spending some quality time on a proper CX bike, I decided that there was no way a drop bar bike was going to work out for me. My new gravel rig for the upcoming season will be the F29. I have several changes in mind from stock in order to turn this bike into the perfect gravel grinder however, I'll wait until everything is built and working before disclosing those changes. Being that I still enjoy getting out on singletrack and have the hopes of one day returning to racing on singletrack, I will also be getting some time in here and there on the Scalpel. With those two bikes at my fingertips, I am ready for the many hours I plan on spending in the saddle this year.

As you may have noticed, I have many new sponsors this year. Please take a minute to have a look through the links on the right and if you get the chance please support them and pass along a good word. These companies make great products and just as important are great people who support and promote the sport. If you would like to learn more about Toasted Head Racing you can follow the blog, check out the roster or member bio's here. While you're at it, check out our Facebook page and "like" us here.

See you on the gravel!

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