The Tommy Knocker 10 was the first race of 2019 for me, I have been to this race before and I always have a great time at the Zia rides races. This winter I’ve been down in southern Arizona for most of the winter, doing a lot of exploring in new places and riding a lot of great trails. I felt like I was more than ready to put a good effort in for 10 hours but even when you feel great there’s always that voice in the back of your mind that’s being negative and telling you that you haven’t done enough. I’ve always questioned my fitness and I think it’s a great motivator to question yourself, it keeps you honest and always striving to be better.
The week before the race I had to make a quick trip back to Colorado and get my race bike and supplies for more time in the desert. I made it out of Colorado just in time, as the next huge winter storm arrived. I got to Silver City a week early and got to check out some of the riding in the area. The Continental Divide trail runs through this part of NM and was stoked to get some exploring in on a couple sections of the trail. I’ve always liked NM it’s got a really good vibe, the people are friendly there’s tons of great riding and cool history and culture to experience, I could definitely see myself living in some corner of the state someday.
The Tommy Knocker course got a bit of a change this year, adding a little more single track but overall keeping most of it the same. It’s a 12-mile loop with 837 feet of climbing on each lap, a couple short sections of double track and the rest is high desert single track. It’s kind of desert meets grassland and really makes for a beautiful landscape.
I stopped looking at who is coming to races a long time ago, because you can only do what you can do and thinking about someone else being at a race doesn’t really do anything for you… just show up and race hard. The start of the race was pretty chilly and it was only looking to get into the low 50s so I started with arm warmers and a vest and kept those on all day. I went out fast to stay ahead of things and tried to keep a regular pace throughout, my fastest lap was under 50 minutes but never went over the hour mark so I was happy to keep it really consistent all day. I mostly drank my custom Infinit Nutrition mix and early on when it was cold I supplemented that with so Honey Stinger products.
My Santa Cruz Blur is an incredible race bike! It really is so fast, I had zero problems with my Shimano Di2 which performed flawlessly and always has! My tire setup for about a year now has been Maxxis Aspen in the rear and Ardent race in the front, always with EXO TR and I’ve really liked that combo but I may change it up a bit this year and try some new things out.
I ended up riding 120 miles in 9 hours and had time to go out for one more but it would have been really close as I had to finish before 6 PM for the lap to count so I decided to stop and enjoy a beer instead. I was happy take the win at the first race of the season but more importantly got to connect with some of my mountain bike family that I haven’t seen in awhile and connect with people I’ve never met before. This really is what it’s all about connecting with friends and making new ones wile doing the thing I love most, riding my mountain bike!