The Mountain Bike Life

This year due to numerous factors and as they say life, there has not been much racing at all for me.

So last Saturday was a chance to get into a race put on by my buddy who runs  Substance Projects. Who put on a race at Northumberland Forest. Now I won’t bore you with a race report about a race as the Result speaks for itself.  Yep…32 minutes after the first guy to finish the 33K half MTB marathon.

Chris Macfarlane  Lapdogs  1 Lap  2:04:46:2  +32:15

Dirt or Tan line?

So instead let us look at some changes after a couple of days to think about how I did. There will be no science here and no fancy pie charts to explain things as I don’t work that way.

The Body:

Well, to be honest my endurance is good as I ride every day and for at least 2 hours give or take based on the day. So that is good.

The area I need to work is simply speed and strength in the legs. I have been lazy in this year. Not been doing much in the way of sprints or any types of intervals. Strength training is pretty much in the realm of doing just enough to not change anything. but I think it is time to dig out those methods and stop being as lazy.


Over the last year since I got the Chromag Samurai frame and moved all the parts. There has been a continued evolution of the parts. And for the most part it is built up the way I want it. However until one races you don’t always know if there is anything else you can change and in this case their is.

After the race I noticed there was some play in the BB which turns out to not be the BB. The problem is the DMR X Type cranks. They use a a pinch bolt on the non drive side crank as well a the crank bolt to keep the arm in place. Which has worked its way loose. This has happened once before and after thought it is time for something a little more less needing of monitoring.


And am liking one of the Race Face cranks because their mounting is simple. It’s is a simple crank type bolt and no pinch bolts.

About half way through the course noticed was having some numbness in the outside of my hands. That only really happens when I use grips that are to thin. And I had not changed the grips out prior to the weekend since I swapped out bars.

Needs to be bigger

I had put on the thinner ESI Chunky which I found to be to thin for me. And had not switched to the Extra Chunky version which is thicker and I prefer. Guess because I hadn’t raced much and the fact this years weather sucks with the mud and rain have not noticed this as much. So need to switch back.

Now this next one is bike related though it is the other bike. I have noticed a bit of leg strength thanks to pushing the big 42T ring on the Monstercross. Which I have been riding more as to much mud sucks.

Getting to be a bit small

Yesterday noticed that I can max out the big chainring pretty easily now. And need to get up the chain ring size to a 48T. Which will help with the before mentioned improving leg strength. And leg strength helps with speed as well.

All in all the day was good but there will be some changes needed as written above to enjoy this type of race more in the future. And especially since I don’t get to race often I may not be close to podiums but making changes is always good still.

Chilcotin Chainsaw Gang
Cyclocross is a Dangerous Game