A Note from Fatty: Hey, this whole post is going to be about Leadville, so how about one more Leadville-related thing? If you’re going to be in Leadville for the Leadville 100 this Thursday, why don’t you come to this:
I’ll be there. The Hammer will be there. It’s a fantastic movie, and your donation will support the Leadville High School Mountain Biking Team. That’s awesome. So come see it with us.
You would think that, after having started the Leadville Trail 100 16 times (and completing it 15 times) that I would not be freaking out right this moment. That I would have this system down. That I would be having a normal day.
In that, you would be wrong. Because I am obsessing. I am fretting. I am having a remarkably difficult time thinking about anything but what begins this Saturday, at 6:30AM, and then continues for the next several hours.
Here’s what it’s like to be inside my head right now:
How ready am I? How’s my bike? What have I forgotten? Is it going to rain? Am I starting to get a cold? Do I have enough spare tubes? Am I going to start cramping partway through the race? What glasses should I wear? Why do I get so nervous before races? I wonder how fast I am in comparison to other singlespeeders this year. Should I start on the gels as I go up Columbine, or try to stay with real food?
And it continues like this, nonstop. So I figure, rather than fight it, I’ll treat (ha) you to a few nuggets of what I’m doing to get ready for this race.
Oh, and at the bottom of this post, there’s a nice little surprise about what The Hammer is doing, too.
I’ve written before about my Specialized Carbon 29er Singlespeed Stumpjumper (Which I call the “SSSS”). It’s the bike that I rode at the Leadville 100 last year. And it’s what I’m going to ride again this year.
But with some modifications. First, check out the whole thing, in all its glory:
It’s the same frame, still with the Shimano XTR cranks and brakes. Still with the Time ATAC pedals. Still with the Banjo Brothers seat bag, which holds a tube, two CO2 canisters and an adapter, and a tire lever. Still with the Arundel Mandible bottle cages.
Instead of the 34 x 20 gearing I ran last year, I’ve switched to 34 x 19. One notch taller of a gear, in celebration of the fact that I feel like I’m lighter and stronger than last year. Mistake? Time will tell.
But a few other things have changed.
First of all, check out those sexy ENVE TWENTY9 XC wheels, set up tubeless with Chris King hubs. Yum. I’m running them tubeless with Specialized Fast Trak S-Works 2.2 tires, both front and back. 21psi. Yep, just 21. You don’t need any more than that.
And last but certainly not least, I’ve moved from a rigid fork to a RockShox SID XX World Cup suspension fork with a PushLoc Remote. My wrists simply couldn’t take the pounding of the rigid fork on descents anymore, and with the PushLoc remote, I can still lock the suspension for efficient climbing.
And in short, this is about as nice a bike as a singlespeeder could ever want. And much nicer than I actually deserve.
And I frequently just go outside to stare at it for a while.
The Hammer’s Bike
But hey, what about The Hammer? What’s she riding?
She’s riding this:
Yep, The Hammer’s also riding a Specialized Carbon 29er Stumpjumper Singlespeed. At Leadville.
Allow me to repeat: The Hammer is racing Leadville on a singlespeed.
Except for the purple carnation she has mounted on the handlebar. I don’t have one of those (and I’m really hoping I won’t need a different flower after the race).
To be honest, I’d say about 68% of the Leadville-oriented obsessing I’m doing right now has to do with The Hammer’s race. Not many women singlespeed this event, so I’m proud, excited, and anxious to find out how she does.
PS: Tomorrow, I will continue with my Leadville obsessing, detailing my time objectives, splits, distances of key parts of the race, and the three sections of the course I always hope to just survive (they’re not the ones you’d expect).