Dual Slalom – Hammarbybacken

What i love about the bike community in Stockholm is that it welcomes everyone. The “join in the fun” mentality is most obvious at the many ad-hock races people have organised.

I’ve never raced Dual Slalom, so i didn’t really have any ambitions for the race rather than to get down the hill in one piece and not be dead last. What i went home with is a giant happy grin on my face and a Five Ten t-shirt. The race was a complete mud fest, everyone was going sideways, if i didn’t have my goggles on, my helmet would fill up with mud and grass slung up by the front tyre. Clearing mud out of the tyre tread pattern became an obligatory pre run ritual. Sticks and pointy rocks were in high demand.

As with all hese ad-hock races i’ve been to, the  thing that attracts me the most is the atmosphere. People, regardless of skill level, are friendly, approachable and willing to discuss tyre choice for hours.

So let’s start with a somewhat serious race shot.

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An now for the fun. Apparently someone had their camera on burst mode.10710400_10153342555798065_2330965034386232689_o10655353_10153342567563065_5296285698233276504_o1047986_10153342568428065_9661012875169325_o

Airtime

….or how trying something new could have ended up pretty badly. The scariest was the path my little tumble took me down, zig-zagging through trees. The bike got stuck in the first one, i ended up missing the second one and stopping a little right of the third. I had a very sore neck and an even more sore pride for a couple of weeks after, and my glasses are still somewhere in the dirt. On the bright side I managed to ride off home…

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And here’s the obligatory video:

SBR 14 – Greasy Bridge Flottsbro

I’ve grown to enjoy lung busting sprints. Apparently not enough given my ranking, but that’s nothing a winter of turbo trainer session can’t fix.

I rode consistently without crashes, kept it maybe a little on the safe side, but with a lot of small mistakes that added up to a decent time deficit. Still had a ton of fun and think i rode a solid race.

Rider sign in:

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Somewhere on the trail:
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And here’s the race run video from all the stages, and a little something extra thrown in for laughs in the beginning:

Hagakullen

One of the last few days of summer is upon us here in Stockholm, so i figured i’d get a little riding done before the rain comes. Hagakullen has a great rollercoaster track, that even thoug it’s short maximises the potential of the hill.

SBR XIII: Älta

Another weekend, another local enduro race. A kind mtb enthusiast on happymtb.org, on his own time scouted his local forest, marked the track and organised a pretty awesome local race. Apparently, one of the perks of paternity leave is having the time to hike the local woods.

A total of 6 stages, not too much height difference, but some serious inclines and tricky wet rocks and moss to navigate. The track was pretty wet in practice but dried off in time for the race runs, so it got a lot faster. A crash on a wooden bridge on stage 5, (the same feature i rode perfectly in practice) left my ego and my rear mech pretty bruised. A little bending of the derailleur hanger enabled me to shift again but the cable was badly frayed so i didn’t know for how much longer.

A solid mid pack result, i came in 22nd of 56.

 

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Somewhere on stage 3.140816-010-SBR-XIII-andreasnystrom 2

 One of the transfers.

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What was advertised as a big scary roller that you have to commit to.

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MTB in Kallhäll

The Gorillapod coupled with a Gopro and wireless remote is an awesome way to make short edits. The flexibility the Gorillapod offers in camera placement is unparalleled. Now all i need is a cablecam…

Lida Loop 2014

Looking at the different cycling  disciplines you wouldn’t say that xc is dangerous, right? I mean, if anything DH, freeride and 4X, maybe road biking…that’s where the big crashes happen, that’s where frames snap and extremities get mangled. No. Apparently you can hit a tree in any cycling discipline.

Sandra Salinger, an elite rider, apparently hit a tree hard enough to snap her frame and her neck. Which got me thinking abut how a race as “tame” as LL could have such consequences. Should it not be about endurance, power, smart energy conservation and hill sprints? The start of LL is pretty hectic, you sprint up a ski slope, then ride a 3-4m wide, winding gravel path for about 10 km, at over 35km/h about 5cm away from the next rider’s bars. There is no margin for error. The elite riders obviously push as hard as they can, and sometimes that leads head first into a tree. So logically, this particular situation is hard to prevent by enforcing new rules or spreading out the start so that there are fewer people on the course at the same time. However, that might help the recreational riders, who are less experienced and don’t know how to hold their line, to not feel the added stress of being so close to one another.

My race went better than expected. I came off a relatively hard couple of training weeks where i had issues with my right Achilles tendon. Somehow i didn’t really feel it until the evening after the race. I tried to keep focused during the first loop and attack where i could,  gaining a spot or two before diving into the singletrack. I don’t shine on gravel roads, but i though that i’d still better try to get to the slightly rougher stuff before it gets too crowded. On the rough stuff, it went fine. I gained around 25-30 spots there. Apparently the trail riding i’ve been doing to prepare for enduro paid off. Somewhere around the middle of the third loop i started to feel tired but i rode as fast as i could and managed to overtake a few more people. With less than kilometer left to the finish i decided to boost off a rock and didn’t see the trail go off to the left. Almost hugging a tree got my focus right back on track and i made the last sharp climb before the finish.

Lida Loop 2014 in numbers. The data was recorded with a Suunto Ambit 2s, and apparently Suunto’s Movescount interprets some of it differently. Petty much didn’t leave HR zone 4 and 5 for the entire duration of the race. I placed 77th/503 in my category, with the time of 3:09:25 which i’m happy with, shaving 13 minutes off my previous time on the same bike and in the same dry conditions.

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Exhausted, dusty and rather happy it didn’t get too sketchy even though i almost hugged a tree…

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