It would be a challenge to be stressed about anything in Hawaii...even the airports make you feel at ease from the moment you step off of the plane. Monique and I got to visit Kauai on our second honeymoon over six years ago... I cannot believe we have been married that long and it has taken us a world championship race to get us back to the islands. This has got to be one of the best places on the planet. I could get use to living on Maui time.
We have been keeping it mellow the last couple of days and today we got out to pre-ride some of the Xterra "practice course". The real race course is on private land and stays off limits until the actual race day each year. Part of the advantage of racing Worlds before is knowing the course and how to regulate your efforts and speed. I like the element of surprise! For a few days before the race a section of dirt and fire roads that is suppose to simulate the actual race course terrain is open to help you understand just how easy it would be to slice a tire or drift off course out of a turn. Practice makes perfect.
There is a pretty wide mix between the lava rocks and dust pits on the course but our 29ers were just eating up the trail and I just love the heat. Bring it on! I love it!
I have not had the best luck with my drive train on most of my bikes (and if you read my blog I am sure you know...) so I decided to get a new chain before we made the trip. An attempt to change my ways? I rode around the block before we left with no issues but today as soon as I put any pressure on the pedals I was slipping gears like crazy. I didn't understand until I took it to some mechanics at the Xterra demo setup. It looks like I totally wore out my entire drive train and introducing a new chain totally freaked out my cassette when it realized just how worn it was. I had two options. Get a new cassette, chainrings and use my new chain (bling bling) or put my old chain back on. Lucky for me I still had my old chain! I put it back on and I was back in worn out business!
Enough about the grind and gears... I am stoked to have everything dialed in now and Monique and I are starting to plan some adventures after the race. It looks like the big day will be an excursion around Haleakala and lots of time in and around the water.