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Monday, May 01, 2006

"my suffer monkey is bigger than yours ..."

Over the years and on more than a few occassions, i've had the ill luck to find myself trapped in the middle of that age-old debate ~ which is harder, mtb racing or road?

oy.

Unlike some wanting to be 'the decider,' i've always tried to show the glass as half full for both sides, doing my best to be 'the includer.'

whatever.

Anyway ~ in my opine-yun, the suffering is just as deep for both events. In my book, they just be differently colored ... and different = good.

On the road, there are these moments of soul-crushing intensities that decide races. The pain is a distilled and toxic drop to be swallowed, that will either destroy or free you (Dune allusion, eh?) . And on the road, it is during that moment of utter crisis and unimaginable pain that you also have to gather your wits about you and decide better than the rider next to you.

I'm tellin' you, it's chess with knives.

On the dirt, the suffering is one long agonizing, self-inflicted wound ... with salt poured on as you can take it. The more the salt, the faster the ride. And that shit hurts. But, you must also have your wits about you ~ every pedalstroke, every wheel turn ... for that can lose you the race just as fast as pulling away from the suffering.

... chess with sledgehammers.

- - -

i'm gonna have me a beer tonite.

37 comments:

Kirkpatrick MacMillan said...

Dirt = one looooong time trial with some downhill skiing mixed in, get it. More a battle of you vs. terrain. Momentum, concentration, and TT. There's a little bit of tactics with the group of guys racing at the front, but for most it's a race against the clock.

Road = power spikes, strategy, teamwork, decisive moments, clarity of path to finish as you say.

They're all good. Cross too. Wish there was a track in my neighborhood 'cause I'd do that too.

Erein said...

Well, I can tell you that racing the sea otter XC course is ten times harder than doing the olympic distance tri at Wildflower. Don't rat me out to my tri buddies, but mountain biking is waaaay harder than doing triathlons.

In fact I thought I was soo bad ass doing tri's that when I started mountain biking I figured I'd be zipping around the hills in no time. It was so not a pretty picture! I almost died choking dust as I struggled up my first hill. It was so hard. And forget the downhill-geez oh pete, talk about terrifying!

Mt biking has improved my road biking skills and endurance for sure. But it's all fun as long as you're moving!

X Bunny said...

i would assume that cross fits in more with the mtb-type of suffering in your opineyun?

PAB said...

i've noticed through the years that the really talented riders from road, the all-rounders, also do well in the dirt, and vice versa. for them, one isn't really any harder than the other, just different.

For those of us that aren't as well rounded in our skills and abilities, different story...

damn uphills.

ohhh, THAT'S why they call it mountain biking...

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

cross = chess with nuclear weapons

X Bunny said...

this all made sense until i remembered that i hate chess...

Hick said...

I think we need to put a 24 hour team together, for Mountain Biking that is.

How about it? Hmmmm

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i've wanted to forever.

gimme the chance.

X Bunny said...

only wusses do it with a team

that's what a 72 year old told me

PAB said...

I would be very into a 24 hour race--in the fall after road season perhaps?

ginmtb said...

How about do the 8-hour race at Lake Sonoma with TWW - June 25

Will be a hoot and not nearly the commitment. Still hard though - more sprinty than endurancy. Free camping, low key, cool vibe, food and Droool, and maybe I'll do the custom number plates again...

Good job brah on your race!

nosajpalnud said...

"mountain biking is waaaay harder than doing triathlons"

hmm - I've done mtb/cross, road and tri (road and xterra) and it's really hard to say whether one is harder than the other as I've pretty much puked or almost puked after each one at some point. It's all good fun and suffering.

Nome Agusta said...

All of that and more.

Being smoove in the corners = conservation of energy.
I once asked Andrew Holdsworth why I could drop him in MTB race but not even touch his time in a road TT. His answer was that he was losing momentum in the corners and had to keep sprinting out of them to get back up to speed.

Knowing when to slow down = not laying on the ground while to clock is still ticking.

Knowing when it is faster to run with bike = passing 10 guys on a steep single track climb.

My best MTB races from last year employed roadie skills and smart racing.

I would be interested in Blogger's Montage like 24 Hour Team. I have done 8, 3 times on the podium with a win at 24 Hours of Tahoe. I aslo have the mobile condo for plush team accomodations.

Nome Agusta said...

P.S.
8 Hours of Sonoma is a fun race. But do it on a team, the course is short and it gets a little boring flying solo.

Hick said...

me = wuss

I'll go team style and have gobs of fun in my off time.

They do have a 24 hour race at the chamberlin(sp) ranch where you just did the Firebone Classic.

Thats late season, like OCT 28-29.

Come on lets DO IT!

Plus we will be all cross fity fit, fun fun.

MS

PAB said...

McSassy, that sounds like a great idea.

Infinitely better than Gin's late June thingym'bobber...

ginmtb said...

I remember when I smoked Mr. Agusta at Sonoma... man, that was a long time ago.

Infinitely better? Man, them there's fightin' words PAB. No more Drool for you.

Jed said: said...

I want to get to the point when I can be a part of the "race" in road bike races. But MTb races will always hurt, no matter what.

PAB said...

gin--sorry--you know uptight we roadies can be sometimes....

Velo Bella said...

Doing a 24 hour race during cx season?? Thats crazy talk.

So is doing a 24 hour race the weekend of Surf City #2.

Nome Agusta said...

Gin was De Man back in the day. I'll never forget his last lap on a extremely hot summer day. Gin burned one of the fastest laps of the day on his SS and came flying into the into the finish, locked up the rear brake into a full on power slide, fell to the ground and collapsed from exhaustion. It was pretty studly.

PAB, the late June thingy mabobber is actually not a bad respite from the road. It's good to break it up a bit. After a day of bouncing around on a mountain bike, the smooth feel of carbon and the sound of 120 psi tires whooshing in a sprint gets even sexier.
OV would dig the course, it has elements that are cross-o-licious with forced dismounts to cross little ravines.

McSassenator, let's chat about the 24 Hour thingy.

Olaf Vanderhoot said...

surf city ... mmmm.

that's where it's at, baby.

- - -

Hick said...

Yep Surf City indeed.

I have to many Fukin bikes I want to race, nice problem I guess.

ms

X Bunny said...

so many overlapping seasons
so many conflicting schedules
so many choices

me = staying out of it

Velo Bella said...

what a lovely problem we have

us = spoiled

PAB said...

I'm gonna get myself cloned so I can do em all!

X Bunny said...

eeek

Nome Agusta said...

3 PABs = 60 minutes of wisdom on Friday.

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