Monday, December 20, 2010

Recommended Sodium Intake = 1500 mg/day

The weather this past Saturday proved to be nice enough to pull the road bike off of the trainer and hit the mean streets of south Johnson County and test out my new MWI Showers Pass Soft Shell Trainer.

My kitchen thermometer read 37 degrees, with a light wind from the southwest. I dressed up for the cold with a sleeveless base layer, a long sleeve base layer, my regular short sleeve jersey, and the soft shell trainer on top. I was a little cold to start, and had to stop to put on shoe covers to keep my little piggies warm, but once I got warmed up, I was reasonably comfortable.

I headed south and west from the house to Kenneth, just west of the state line, and hit a couple of my favorite local "hellingen" (no cobbles) before cutting over to State Line Road and about 3 miles of gravel south of 199th St., including one of the steepest gravel road hills I've found around here, before looping back to Mission Rd. for a straight shot home. It turned out to be a great ride of just over an hour and a half, aided on the way home by the unseasonable south wind.

I was really happy with my Softshell Trainer. The fit (size M) was very good, and even with the other layers under, it never felt bulky or constricting. I liked the all of the zippers: the two under arm vents, the one rear vent high on the back, the two zippered pockets, and the cuff zippers. I think that the cuff zippers and the two big rear pockets (rather than 3 on a regular jersey) turned out to be my favorite features. The cuff zippers made it really easy to get a good seal around my gloves and the big pockets were easy to get into with my gloves on, and deep and wide enough to hold a lot more stuff than I needed on my short ride.

And the sodium reference in the title? Well, about a week ago, we got about an inch of snow, and Johnson County laid down a lot of road salt. Enough salt that it is now dried out and caked on the roads, and riding over it can cause it to dust up a little. That dust found it's way to the nozzle on my water bottles, and I got my daily sodium intake via my salty water bottle nozzle.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Over the Riverside and Through the E H Young Park

Today's Tip - Avoid standing at a Christmas party for 4+ hours the night before race.

That's what I did last Friday night before the Boss Cross #4 / Missouri State Championship Race at E.H. Young Park in Riverside, MO. Jeremy and Joe put together a great, Championship worthy, course at a great venue - gotta love a place with large heated restrooms on a day hovering around freezing.

The heart of the park is relatively flat, but the river bank, a couple of berms and mounds, a sand volleyball court, two curbs, two sets of barriers, and hill up near a wooded area provided the technical challenges. The start was a long drag in a tail/crosswind followed by a sweeping left turn on to the main part of the course. The first obstacle was the sand pit which had an uneven entry at the apex of a left turn, which caused a few to to have troubles either stumbling or swinging their bike wide. Next was a planked curb which you had to hop at a good clip to maintain your speed because there was a long stretch into the wind right after. The long river bank sand run was next, again with an entry at the apex of a left hander. After a quick remount there was just enough time to get ready to drop off a curb and into the pavers and more grass. A set of barriers at the bottom of a hill turned it into a run-up, complete with trombone playing hooligans, then a few long stretches and sweeping turns and a speedy down hill off a berm at the north of the park led back to the final barriers and the finish line.

It was a rough day for me. I was tired from the night before, and had no legs, but I rode a steady pace, and focused on skills and cornering. I have raced at the park before, and it can get very dry and very sketchy, especially if your tires are too hard. I had the Fango's at 27psi, and they did a great job, although this was a course made for the Grifo's file tread, if only I had them glued up.

I did Master's race on the Blue, and the singlespeed race on the old aluminum steed. Every time I do two races, I am amazed by the weight of the Blue and how easy it is to suitcase over the barriers and how easy it is to shoulder and run with it.

I don't know what the end of the month holds - there are four more local races in the last week of December and first week of January. I might try to make it out, but with the first snow predicted for K.C. later this week, it looks like the trainer and treadmill might see some action too.

Missouri State Race - O Legs, Where Art Thou...

Cold and windy MO State 'cross race this past Saturday on a fun course used earlier this year for the Boss Cross #1 event. Not a drop of moisture on the ground meant a super fast course for a strong Cat 3 field.

Got a decent start sitting top three after a couple laps in and that's when I started noticing my legs were starting to fade a tad. I kept plugging away, but lap after lap I struggled more and more to maintain any semblance of power and this started jacking with my mind causing me to lose focus during dismounted portions; I was a mess (sigh). As several moved past me mid-race I didn't fold and tried to focus on each rider ahead of me and little by little was able to crawl back to finish 6th overall and 4th for the MO Championships.

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Disappointment and frustration was quickly replaced with an overall sense of satisfaction as the season in a whole was a success and more fun than I'd had in years. Out of 20 races I had flat legs only twice and #2 just happened on the day I needed them most.

2010 was absolutely great and has me pumped for 2011! Big props to BLUE for making a rocket of a rig and to Challenge for the best tires on the market. Even bigger to the MWI crew for facilitating our dreams of being rock stars on two wheels - Mike and crew, you guys are the best!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jingle Cross Rookie


I'll make it quick with just the highlights

- MWI teammates (and wives) are awesome and a great bunch of 'cross racing nuts!!!!

- Mt. Krumpet is no joke (up or down)

- Friday Night: Cold, slick, and cold - 11th

- Saturday: Tough (but good for me) run up and slick riser, broke pedal, awesome 'Chili' bike swap in the pit - 12th

- Sunday: Solid race start to finish with some muddy sections - 7th

- MWI teammates and wives are awesome (and yes, I know I repeated this)!!! Chili has ruined me for all others...

- Blue rig and Challenge tires killed it all weekend long!

More to come later but for now...

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's It!

I'm done with this year's cross season.

I pulled out of the second day at Jingle Cross in Iowa City. Had a bit of a challenge getting the bike up over the barrier with two laps to go. This was after several long, long run-ups up Mr. Krumpit. That was enough of a sign for even me to read. Time to pull the plug, even with a fun Illinois race next weekend.

I've pushed, cajoled, requested, beaten, intimidated, and threatened my body enough this season. I started 21 races, finished 18, finished fifth overall in the 45s, had some good 5th places finishes, renewed some good friendships, made new friends.

Overall a successful season with my wife inc. We had a lot of fun throughout the season.

Time to start healing and resting. Time to rebuild hip and leg muscles, shoulder muscles. I'm already planning with Craig on how to build up my hip muscles and build core strength.

I had good equipment this year. The Blue Norcross bikes performed flawlessly and the Challenge tires gave me confidence in corners and mud.

I'm already planning my 2011 schedule to be physically ready for the whole season. I've already written about the plan to ride a lot of mountain bike, some TTs, some road races and crits - and a LOT of weight lifting, pilates, and yoga.

It's exciting to think that maybe that not only I can come back to where I was prior to the crash, but even get seriously faster and stronger. Everything this season points to more strength and speed next year.

Bring on 2011. Thanks for reading. And thanks to everyone who cheered me on this year, especially the crew at mwi. So many friends and family members encouraged me this year. The wall of noise from the mwi tent at races was awesome.

Boom!

Paul Chili Warloski

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm not done yet

Just when I thought I was going to hang it up and call it a season, I decided I'm not ready.

Sitting at the breakfast bar in my kitchen this morning, sipping coffee and looking at facebook, I really, really, really had the urge to ride my cross bike. That urge turned into the want to race, immediately! But Jingle Cross is out of the question for me with things at home happening. So what to do!?

BAM! Chicago Cross Cup is expanding the 4A's and 4B's to 100 per field instead of the usual 75. Currently as it stands both the A's and B's are sold out for IL State Championship race on December 5th. I'm friggin' all over that. Get me on a waiting list or something! My BLUE needs to tear up a cross fast! Throw Chili's Grifo's (or Fango's if I'm lucky to have "awesome" weather!) on and Imma gonna get me a podium!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom I'm Changing Majors!

Two Part Post - Wisconsin State CX Championship Race Report and some news!

News: Mom I'm Changing Majors!

Well it's official folks, for next year I have decided to tailor my studies to major in Cyclocross with a minor in Road Racing. I just love cross so much more, it only makes sense for me. I'll just be starting my training a little bit later this winter and enjoy some more varied sport time (read rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, and anything else that I do to stay off the trainer) before base building. Racing will start in June instead of March with Quad Cities in Illinois, but then I'll be staying local for a few select Dairyland and Superweek races to tune the engine for CX season.

Race Report:

It all came together. The morning of rituals, breakfast, the warm up, all went perfectly today. 3rd row start, which was not exactly where I wanted to be, but I was on the inside lane and got clipped in immediately. Shot up the inside and got to fourth wheel for the first corner. A little too much hesitancy (I really don't know if that's a word, but I'll roll with it) from a couple of riders in front of me in the corners let Nate Labecki (EXPO Racing Junior) slipped away almost immediately. Them damn juniors.

I moved up pretty quickly on Lap 1 to second wheel after a couple crashes from 2nd and 3rd place riders, who I was in a group with. Biffed the uphill double barrier re-mount on Lap 1; just missed the pedals enough not to get clipped in and started loosing momentum. Lucky for me 3rd, 4th and 5th place fellas were still there, so I used one of them as a post and leaned on him with my shoulder to get situated. Thanks guy!

Picked up the two spots I had lost fairly quickly on the straights coming into and out of the start finish and for the next two laps I maintained 2nd place with a slight gap. I was getting word on the course that Nate Labecki (EXPO) was 14 seconds ahead of me with one to go and was making mistakes (later found to be that he crashed several times).

Bell Lap and I was starting to slow slightly. I got passed by Travis Gruchow somewhere before the finish coming into the bell lap - maybe the uphill barriers? So I'm now sitting 3rd and chasing 2nd. Legs are getting heavy, but lucky for me there were several dedicated MWI Superfans on course cheering me on. Couldn't have turned the pedals any faster without their support.

I mustered up my last bits of energy to close the gap on Travis in 2nd and was coming hot into a right - left greasy chicane. Braking, braking, braking..... too much speed! Oh chican't! Went down and was passed immediately by Marc Ano (IL). Got up, mounted my steed, but wait! I can't ride with my bars twisted 70 degrees off center! Pounded them back and off I went again.

I knew two guys were breathing down my neck, Larry Gundlach (MadCity Velo) and Jesse Collins-Davies (MAGNUS), so I had to play tactically. I knew Larry has got a great kick in open sections, so I needed to make him tired before the finishing straight. I went hard into every technical corner and then scrubbed nearly all my speed in the apex before sprinting out. Making it twice as hard for Larry and Jesse to come back up to me. I attacked the climb and threw caution to the wind on the twisty decent. Larry was still tight on my wheel over the barriers, but he choose to run the hill instead of remounting. I nailed the remount and was to the next corner before he was on his steed, but he caught me again when my front wheel started to go out from under me on the uphill off chamber section. Played tactical again through all the trees as I was in front still. Hard in, nearly full on stop and sprint out. Four more times. I thought I had him.

Over the foot bridge for the finishing straight and I'm givin' her all that's left. Shifting, down in the drops, I feel someone coming around on my right, Larry. 25m left to the line and we're rubbing shoulders and bumping elbows. Got 'em. Nope. Pipped at the line. 5th Place (4th if you exclude Marc Ano from Illinois).

This year has been excellent for me. Totally found my niche with cross. Many thanks go out to the whole MWI Team and Sponsors for their support this season. I may not have had this awesome of an experience without them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Not Quite What I'd Hoped For

Given the form that was coming around, I'd hoped for a podium spot at today's race. Not because it was the Wisco state championships, but because it was the last 45 plus race in the series.

I felt pretty strong in warm ups, got the Grr face and attitude, and felt ready to go at the start. Bobbled the clip-in, but pushed a big gear to catch the leaders. One racer took a bad inside line in the first corner to pass me, then slid out in front of me, forcing me to a complete stop. The three at the front kept going.

And somehow I never regained confidence in the corners. My heart rate went through the roof, and once I calmed myself down, the race was gone. My tires felt low so I switched bikes. Those tires did not grip in the greasy corners, so I switched back. I lost so much time to other riders in corners because I was so damn tentative.

It was one of those days. 

I don't know what I was afraid of, the corners were slow enough that if I fell, it was no big deal. But I never relaxed until the last lap. Beat Eckel again, but that wasn't really the goal today.

I maintained my fifth place overall for the series. Given this is the first year back after the crash, and I was actually able to race every race, I'm pleased. Last year I had to pull out in October to get the pins out of my knee so the fact that I'm still racing in November is good.

Next year, I'm doing a boat load of mountain bike races so that I'm comfortable drilling corners at high speeds. I'm also going to do one million jumps over the summer to build some snap along with some time trials to build speed at a top end.

I'm also going to not worry about the season-long series. I'm going to Louisville, Cincy, and other races. I want to race the elite race in the local series or the 30 plus, just to keep my head fresh.

On Friday, we travel to Iowa City for Jingle Cross. Tomorrow I'll be excited to go. Once I get my head out of my ass and relax, which I can do away from the home races, I'll have some fun.

The high in Iowa City on Friday is going to be 30 degrees and we race in the dark under the lights.

Break out the thermal skin suit.

- chili Warloski

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kansas Double Race Weekend

Contrasting weekend races were on tap with the Grand Prix HPT (an auto dirt track race course) being traditionally crazy fast with long straights and fast 'infield' and outer sections, while contrasting De Stad Cup at StMU featured climbing, technically challenging sections, and a little more climbing.

Saturday I arrived in Topeka to cool temps (dropping steadily as the night progressed) for the GP HPT night race and this year was a 180* change from years past. Rain the days before made everything a muddy (the thick paste type) and it was clear you better have brought your running legs (which I just happened to pack - smiling still). Most of those who chose to 'ride' the thick parts of the infield were rewarded with clogged wheels and derailleurs, while tactical riders moved a tad slower, but much more consistent keeping their bikes operational. I chose the path of the 'tortoise' and ran most parts and by night's end bagged 2nd in the Cat 3 race, which was defined by physical and mental discipline.

After a good night's sleep it was off to Leavenworth, KS for Sunday's De Stad Cup #2 held at St. Mary's University and is by far my favorite venue. With so many different terrain features with which to work they didn't disappoint again this year with lots of climbing, downhill barriers, optional technical run/ride ups and super fun flowing tight corners (and of course off-camber, but that's a given).

Legs felt pretty heavy from the prior night's run-fest during warm ups and early laps of my Cat 2/3 race, but after 2 in they opened up and I was able to get down to business; too bad the leaders were already gone with little chance of tracking them down. Had a blast riding this course and finished a decent 6th place against a strong field. I did notice that only one rider ahead of me raced the night before (just saying...).

Both events the BLUE was solid and even with the shallower clearance on last year's model it never clogged up and performed like a champ. I personally hope we continue our relationship with Blue for future seasons as the Norcross is a freaking rocket. Saturday night I opted for my Vitorria mud specific tubulars (sorry Challenge) which hooked up great at low pressure in the thick slop and shedded like a dog on a white couch (perfection).
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Mike G. kitted up for both events and had solid results at each; no signs of the Crust either day... must be saving up for something special at Jingle Cross. Only six more races left for the 2010 season for me and while I am looking forward to my rookie appearance at Jingle Cross I'm more focused on a solid result the week following at the Missouri State Champs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some People Can Race Sick

Some pros can ride sick and still do a great race.

Not me! The Saturday and Sunday races were both a lot of fun, but not so successful!

I traveled to Indian Hills for the ChiCrossCup race Saturday. These guys want to host a UCI race there some day. They're ready! It's a great venue with an excellent facility. The course should take advantage of some more of the off-camber little hills on the golf course, though. It needs some more technical challenges!

I never planned on going really hard Saturday, just hard enough to open the legs a bit for Sunday. I did have a chance to heckle Nikki Cyp and the officials, though! No idea where I finished, though, nor do I care!

And speaking of technical challenges, Paul Roltgen created a crazy course for Sun Prairie. Full of short punchy climbs, off-camber turns. Kind of felt like a BMX race in some respects. It was a blast. Another one of those courses where you wanted to race again.

But my legs fell off somewhere on the course. There was a small explosion and boom, they fell off, just one and half laps in!

My whole goal was to follow Greg Ferguson's wheel. I stuck behind Dave Eckel for too long, but when I passed Dave and tried to bridge to Greg's group, it wasn't happening! Boom!

So I limped around the course, having fun with it. But if someone had offered me a beer at the top of the hill, there's no doubt I would have stopped and shared it! I finished, somehow getting 7th out of 12 or so.

I'm hoping that with some active rest this week, a good training week, I'll be firing on all cylinders for Sunday's state championships. It would be nice to end with good legs and a bang.

Not a boom where my legs fall off.

Sun Prairie CX? More Like Cold Prairie!

Wow. Sun Prairie CX hosted by Brazen Dropouts was a stellar course. Pure cross here folks. Short hard climbs, numerous off chamber turns, triple barriers and two run ups (one was a possible ride up, but ridicuously steep) made for hard technical racing.

I wasn't expecting a whole lot coming into today's race with only riding on Monday and Tuesday, and then moving the remainder of the week in addition to working! Oi vey. Let's just say the legs were stale and I was happy to just ride my bike to relieve some stress. But I gave it a go and was top 5 or so on the hole shot. Side bar: the only part of the course that I did not care for was the starting chute. It was too short and narrowed quickly. Also with using the parking lot that part of the course was on wasn't the best idea either as riders and vehicles were dodging each other all day right next to the race course....Anyways, with my lack of fitness this week, I slowly dropped back from 5th position. Couple spots each lap. Dammit. Ah well, I felt like crap and legs and lungs did not want to go any harder. 12th on the day isn't shabby considering.

Still playing with tire pressure. Rear Grifo was good, but was running the front a little bit too soft. Slid the front out on the fast up hill off chamber on lap 1 and the grass - pavement - grass transition didn't feel too hot either lap after lap. I'll get that one of these days too. Hopefully by next weekend for the State CX Champs! I've been re-playing last year's State course in my head over and over. Feeling very well mentally prepared; now just need to ensure next week goes as well on the bike for it all to come together.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Double Down Saturday

Since Crusty already gave his rundown of Saturday's race in Lawrence here, I'll try not to repeat what he said, but I do have to agree that it was bumpy, but not this Bumpy.

I toed the line for two races on what started out as a cold and a bit dew-y Saturday morning, enough to get my feet a little wet on the pre-ride before the 10:00am Masters race, which turned out to be a pretty good start for me, where I stayed with the 40+ pack for most of the first lap, so I guess you could say my fitness is improving after 2 months of this, but not this. I settled into a back and forth battle with a Wheatland rider, and I probably should have rode his wheel a bit longer on the last lap, but I passed him right after the run-up, and tried to get away, but he caught and passed me on the last uphill stretch before the final turn to the line. Overall a good race on a bumpy and progressively more and more rocky course. Back on the Blue for the first race this season, I had the Fango's at 25psi, just a bit softer that Crusty's 27, but I thought it was good for the slightly softer, slightly less rocky early morning course.

About an hour later, I took to the start line for the single speed race. The course had dried, hardened and a few more rocks had been exposed. The SS'ers raced with the Cat 4's again, but started ahead of them this time. I could definitely feel the first race in my legs from the start, although I was consistently passing riders (ok, Cat 4 riders) on the long uphill, where the one gear ratio gave me the advantage of having to pedal hard to keep moving. By the end, I was really whipped and rolled in 6th out of 8 SS'ers.

I did, however, get to try the Challenge Latex Tubes, since I'm still clinching up the single speed rig. I pumped them to 30psi, and that was probably pretty good for the course. I could tell the difference from the regular butyl tubes that I used last week. The latex tubes are definitely "softer", and probably could run a couple psi lower than a butyl tube, great for 'cross. There is a slight weight advantage with the thinner latex tubes (about 35 to 50 grams per tube, depending on your tubes and your scale), and even though the cost is 2 to 3 times the cost of a butyl tube, I think they are a great investment for clincher riders looking to get a little closer to a tubular tire without the investment of new tires and wheels.

I don't think I'll make it to Topeka next week - Saturday night courses are hard to make - but I might make it out to the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, site of several races last year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

ChiCrossCup - Woodstock

Maybe I got a little something this season after all.

Roscoe and I traveled to Woodstock, Il for a ChiCrossCup race. We signed up for the 30 plus race, but neither of us felt terribly ambitious at the start.

Within 20 yards of the start, the chute narrowed. Guys were going to be pinched. Sure enough, after the whistle, a mountain bike dude was pinching me into Ross. I let off the gas and was now WAY back in the 65-rider field. (I passed that dude with a vengeance later on!)

Since we were there to train and have some fun, we both were nicely relaxed. And since many Chicago racers use their brakes WAY TOO MUCH, we had fairly easy times moving up in the field. Riders also had issues with the short sand pit, crashing, stalling out. Don't get that at all. Even when I forgot to shift up, I still powered through it easily.

In the whirly section first lap, Ross was just ahead of me so we said hello as we passed each other! I kept him in sight until the last lap when his big-ass motor had more juice than my skinny-ass motor.

I passed a boatload of guys in the race, but I had no idea where I was in the field. So it was a pleasant surprise to check the results to see I was 14th! Ross finished 8th! Imagine if we had taken the race more seriously!

It was a great course today, lots of flow. EXCEPT for the two barrier sections, placed at dumb-ass parts of the course. You couldn't run over them, just kind of step over and keep moving. They totally disrupted the flow. The rest of the course, though, was awesome, full of fun little climbs and descents, and tight corners. 


I'm totally stoked tonight, even though my legs are dead. I rode completely within myself, rode hard, and just picked off guys one - sometimes three - at a time. There's hope for me. I keep wanting to sing "Ain't no truck big enough" but that's going to be bad karma or something.

Next week, Mike and Ross bring the mwi circus to Fort Collins. And since it's sponsored by Fat Tire Ale, I'd sure like to be there. But I'll head down to Hilton Island for the Chicago race, then to Sun Prairie for the next to last WCA race. I hope Chad, Patrick, and Aaron will be able to join me!

I'm not sure if you can call what I'm doing peaking, but I'm certainly coming into some form. I felt like a bike racer today.

Ummmm...it's bumpy?

Well if some of you read the twitts? going out yesterday you may have seen the mention of a 'bumpy' course. Just to get this straight, we ALL race on the same course. We ALL appreciate the effort put forth by new promoters. BUT when the question was asked of me ALL I could say was 'ummmm...it's bumpy'? Showing utter politically correctness and gratitude for someone stepping up to make us have a racing weekend.

BUT when there is open field, no pavement, no gravel, non technical, 2 barrier section, spiral of death, one drop in(that was rideable for some people) along with a Jingle Cross climbing style hill added in. (BTW I learned I can climb all of a sudden this year. Can you say ego boost rolling into Jingle?) Not much to say but 'bumpy!'

To the race report. 2nd row start on the grass(did mention this course is grass?) Got a decent start top ten. Finally starting to get my starts of old down. About time now that the season is almost over! People falling down on the bumpy grass corners(why?) Glad I was running my Challenge Fango's at 27 lbs. Only bottomed out once on a bump I didn't see in the malay of the first lap. Honestly I'm not going much farther than that on how the race unfolded. I managed to gain several positions back on the long climb but lost them for some reason in the spiral of death. I OFFICIALLY hate that obstacle now. I finished in tenth which is in the right direction considering the ebb and flow of my season.

So today it's a road or mountain bike ride due to the fact that the race is at the same 'bumpy' venue.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Bigger Gear...

No, I don't think so Paul. I'm fine where I am :-)

The cheers and heckles where greatly appreciated today at Estabrook as I really needed them after working until 4:30AM, sleeping three hours and being grouchy.

A less than stellar start, as one of the fellas that got a call up to the line for being top 10 in points, had some trouble finding his pedals or something like that. Top 15ish was not where I wanted to be on the roadie course today and I had to burn some matches to get myself up to the top 10. The course was so wide open and lacking technical aspects that I dig, that the top 10 cat 4's stayed together for basically the first two laps.

Not much to speak of during this race, other than going slightly cross eyed into the first set of double barriers after coming out of the circle of death. But that only happened on the last two laps in my severe oxygen deprived state - so no fall down and go boom for me.

Unfortunately I lost two spots on the last lap. One in the barriers, when someone couldn't make up their mind what side of the barriers they wanted and switched mid-way through, and another through the trees just before the finish. And to top it all off, the guy that got me through the trees was on...... a mountain bike..... feck. But you gotta be pretty strong on this course with all the open sections, so maybe he was sandbagging? Yea, I'll go with that.

8th on the day isn't shabby considering the few hours of sleep and work. I think it may have contributed slightly to my mental preformance, but wasn't a physical limiter. Still need to work on the tight technical corners and play around with tire pressure in the rear. Kept bottoming out on the roots and in the single track.

One race at a time, though. Maybe I'll get it all right for the State CX Champs?

Maybe?

I discovered my big gear today.

And although I still didn't feel good, I was much faster at Estabrook Park, the 8th WCA race of the series. Beat a couple of guys who are strong TTs on the road. But I don't think either one was feeling his best today. There's definite improvement.

I replaced my 46 with a 44-tooth ring, and that allowed me to stay in the big ring all day today. I kept shifting last weekend, and was waiting for the chain to get sucked in.  I rode the Williams wheels with Challenge Grifo XC file treads and flew on the mostly grassy crit-style course.

The previous weekend featured two WCA races, and both were top-notch. Halloween Cross at Washington Park was better than ever. Luke and the Trocodero boys added a stretch and utilized more off-camber technical turns. I loved the course.

On Sunday, Herman and I traveled to Madison for the first ever cyclocross race at a Madison city park. Nice course with some challenging terrain. The best feature was a sweeping off-camber descent of a hill. The only downside was the run-up. I'm not a fan of long, steep run ups any longer! I felt okay on the day, but didn't feel like I was going until there were only two laps to go. I would have liked another two laps at that point.

Tomorrow, Roscoe and I travel to Woodstock, Illinois. I'll do the 30 plus and get my old man's ass handed to me. But it's good training to stay in fields of that size.

And with my new chain ring, I'll be able to hammer along, even though the course description promotes a lot of hills.

I'm getting sad the season is already more than half over. There are only three WCA races left, another three Chicago races, and Jingle Cross in Iowa. That's it.

Can't wait for nationals to extend our season. Even if it is in the middle of the damn winter.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

'Cross STL Style

Hopped over to St. Louis this past weekend to see what Bubba (local series) had going on. Saturday night was a 10pm start time for the Open/A race on a fairly open grass crit style course with one triple barriers section and a long sand run (a little surprised to be the only one 'shouldering'). Raced pretty solid (for me) for the hour long effort and finished 14th. STL is really developing on the 'cross scene even though it seems like it's more of a party where a bike race breaks out wherein KC is a bike race with only Crusty getting rowdie. Favorites for the night was the 'money grab' from the mouth of a huge dead fish-on-a-stick during the beach run and the guy in the B race dressed in a fully inflatable Sumo outfit (barriers were hilarious).

Sunday's venue was the same, but the course changed to more technical with still only one triple barrier section (beach run removed). I was looking forward to this as the night before I made time on the little bit of technical stuff we had and lost on the open power sections. Lined up with the Open again and near the end of the first lap I was in a solid position when I goofed on a turn and dumped pretty hard causing my front break and shifter to go inoperable for the rest of the 55 minutes - ugh, I was dead freaking last with a single speed machine. Luckily the course was pancake flat and the one gear I had was a decent fit so off chasing I went. Gave solid efforts for the hour race and was able to bring back some to finish 17th. Slightly frustrating, but really like the strength workout it gave me (lemonade from lemons...).

video

As always the BLUE was solid and responsive while the Challenge Grifo XS's were the way to go (those things are crazy fast). The kits still get attention and a group referenced the 'pro' setup at the USGP's; nice job boys, keep it up.

This is the halfway mark of my season with 11 races in the books and 10 more to go. Looking forward to the extended seasons in the upcoming years as 'cross is such a short season for such a fun event.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

First, first and tenth

In my "first" race of the season, my "first" single speed race, I placed "tenth", dispelling my prediction earlier in the week that I wouldn't put up a top-ten placing, although I won't divulge the number of starters.

The K.C. Boss Cross series put on a nice race on a fairly technical course, far from the much maligned grass crit, with two long sand pits, two sets of barriers, and a run-up/ride-up depending on your speed and skills, lots of twists and turns, good straight aways and a hand full of Halloween costumes.

The race had the Cat 4's, the Single Speeders (me), and the Cat 4's 40+ running 40 minutes. We started 30 seconds behind the Cat 4's, and I had a good start, based on my standards anyway, about in 8th place into the first turn. I passed one or two and got passed by one or two by the time we hit the first run thru the sand pit, where we hit the back of the Cat 4 field. I ran thru a few Cat 4's and got stuck behind a couple who couldn't ride a steep switch back turn and lost a couple places amongst the single speeders. After that was the run-up / ride-up, which turned into a run-up for me because I was usually in a group as I hit it, and because my 36x19 was a little high to ride it (excuses, excuses - I'm just not in shape.)

The first set of barriers were next - nicely set-up to get a fairly speedy run into them, with just a slight uphill after - followed by grass, pavement, fast turns, and then the second set of barriers. The second set was on an uphill stretch, then about 50 feet later was the second sand pit. After the slog thru the sand was a few more twists and turns, ups and downs, and then the finish line.

I was running about 9th most of the race until I caught a course marker with my left pedal and ran off course. The guy behind me came by as I was extracting myself from the course tape, and was gone for good when I stumbled on the run-up the next time by. I was making a little time on him after that, but didn't have enough time before the end of the race.

I felt pretty good after, and really good for my first single speed race, not knowing what to expect. MWI was well represented with Crusty and Mike on hand in Cat 3 and Open races. Next week is a two days of racing in Lawrence, although with three days in Oklahoma for work this week, I may only race Saturday.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bunny Hop or Die

So, last weekend at Kletzsch Park was tough. I felt terrible, the legs felt terrible, went nearly full on vomitron on the first lap (usually this comes around the 4th lap for me) and I was dreading writing a post for the site. I was thinking about it all week, reflecting on what I could have done better, what went well and what I need to work on. It basicly boiled down to my bike driving in moderately muddy conditions was friggin' asinine and my climbing ability has been severly lacking since not riding so much on the road these past couple months. Nonetheless, I decided to to keep my fingers still this week until after Halloween Cross at Washington Park.

Redemption

I was so jacked up this morning I couldn't sleep with the anticipation of today's race. Up an hour and a half before my alarm, I headed to the garage to do some minor wrenching and bike prep on the Blue's. Put down breakfast and some Java and off to the races the lady and I went. I was half expecting another year of ridiculous lines at this race as it seems to draw the even crazier crazies out! But to my dismay, no waiting! Sweet. Hooked up with Chili just before my warmup and he strapped on a pair of his Easton EA70 tubulars wrapped with Grifo's. With a bit of tweaking by top notch wrench - Heman, I was off to get my tubular cherry popped.....and I was sold pretty much right away. They just roll over everyting so nicely and feel so supple.

Anyways, lets get to the racin'. Good position in the start chute and into the first corner. Sitting top 5. Exactly where I need to be. I heard carnage just before the hard right that consisted of lots of wheel rubbing, followed by "WHOA!" and the crunching of some carbon. Sitting 5th wheel on Lap 1, managed to pass a feller before the tree section leading up to the Coffin Hop. Mantained that and started closing down on 3rd wheel. I started to become a bit foggy and didn't see a lot more than 15 feet in front of me on the next lap and a half but he had maintained about a 50m gap on me in the open power sections. Made up a good bit of ground remounting soon after the barriers on the run up, although not quite where I wanted to remounted, but I felt that I needed to run just a bit to get my momentum up as the barriers were pretty far up the hill. Unfortunately I fell victim to a mechanical while remounting the first set of barriers and my seatpost sitting down with my saddle just about resting on my top tube. Luckily I managed to ride, feeling like little kid with an ill fitting bike, back to the pit where I had stashed Dr. Road Rash's C bike in case of an emergency! Chili and Jess conjured up a guesstimate of where my seatpost should be and were waiting on the next lap with A bike in hand. Bell lap now and I've lost a bunch of places between pitting, riding like a midget, and then driving the boat - aka Aaron's C bike (and I never realized until today how big that bike is for me haha!). I think I may have made one pass and also got passed on the last lap, but it was quite a blur between me gasping for air and my legs about to fall off in pain.

All in all 13th on the day isn't too bad considering the mishap and double pit. I'm good with that and looking forward to Estabrook next weekend. Unfortunately going to have to miss Wizard Cross this Sunday Funday as I currently blogging from work....but if I take a little nap, I'll be good to go for an early AM departure to Madtown right? Man I wish!

- P Bro out!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Anticipation...

Well, here we are, two months into the 'cross season, and I have yet to pin on a number - I've been busy working in Memphis, and seeing the king. All of that changes tomorrow.

I've read my teammates race reports wishing I was there, rubbing dusty or muddy elbows with Euro Pros, clanging a cowbell in Crusty's ear as he sped past, eating a LeBam cupcake, or swimming for safety.

I don't expect to see anyone who raced at Plzen here in Kansas City North on Saturday, and I don't expect score a top ten finish like Ross, but it'll feel good to spin the pedals, run the sand pits, and once again enjoy the pure sweet hell that is cyclocross.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LouVull USGP

Well the traveling circus converged on good ol' LouVull Kentucky in the new Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park. Yes LouVull is a very progressive thinking city. A dedicated cyclocross park just on the edge of downtown. No wonder they were able to secure Worlds CX along with Masters Worlds. Ok now back to the race report.
Friday
The course, well it was brand spanking new. As in we were suppose to be the first one's on it Friday for pre-ride. So new in fact that the sod hadn't even taken yet on the Sella Italia Run(ride) Up. The sand pit still had plastic bottles and other such trash items hidden in it. Sunday they were digging out a root during our race. Good times! Plus some asshat has been using the park as his private driving range.
Saturday
To the race course the three amigo's report at our designated time of arse crack early 7am. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. Sit til 8:30 to pre-ride the course. Pre-ride the course a couple three times. Return to the compound. Sit. Watch. Sitting. Watching. Change into race kit. Warm up. Go to staging with 134 other tight clothed fella's. Exchange greetings with others. After the call up from hell they decide to reduce our race by one lap. Thanks. Thanks a whole hell of a lot. I traveled 7+ plus hours to get a reduced race. How about a reduced entry fee? Just sayin.

USAC official gives the 15 second warning. "Any time after 15 seconds the gun can go off", "15 seconds" suddenly someone leaves from the Johnny on the Spot. Damn near everyone flinched. Right after that the gun went off.

The mad dash down a long straight away was crazy. Turning from pavement to fresh sod even crazier. Nice step down leading to a soft left hander. Then a sweet BMX jump with an immediate dismount over two barriers. Really fun. Really sketchy. I heard someone go down which stopped the field behind me. After that a couple of turns into the Sella Italia Run up which everyone rode, WTF? Down the backside into a right, left sweeper into the pit of death. Totally carnage ensued lap after lap. Amazingly I rode it every lap without a problem. Unphuckingbelieveable I know. A real confidence booster after my somersault to cartwheel to slight disco/breakin move at Hermann. To be honest after that it was all kinda of a blur. I think all the dust must have affected my memory.
The only other thing that sticks out in mind is the Rosco P Fasttrain decided to see what it was like to kiss the barrier with his noggin. He was not looking so good when I passed him. Facing the barriers on his knee's but I didn't find out later that he really did get F'd up pretty badly. Cat Scan on shoulder, stitches to the melon, and memory loss.
Sandpit of Death
Dusty crusty

All that I do know is that the official pulled me with 2 to go. Oh well it was fun.
Sunday
Reported at the same bat time, same bat place. Oy vey. Wait til the sun came up at 8:30 pre-rode the course. Checked out the sweet changes back in the dust bowl section of the course. Gnarly drop off into the fence, I mean into a 180 then a run at the run up from yesterday. I did hear some of the 2/3's did make it. I never could do it during warmup so I figured that would not be a good sign for the race. You know being surrounded by 140 tight clothed fella's ain't goin help.

Same ol, same ol. Stage, call ups, yada, yada. Gun goes off, I felt I had alot better start than the day before. Get to the BMX jump unable to actually see the barriers from all the dust. GOOD THING I PRE RODE!!! I heard several panicked fella's stating they couldn't see the barriers. After that I don't remember much. Raced for awhile then got pulled with 3 to go I think.
Great weekend of racing.

  • A dedicated cyclocross park is amazing
  • Not a lot of fans there.
  • A Hell of alot racers though.
  • Papa Johns pizza at the venue was great
  • Why is that both Doctors on the team fall down so much?
  • Hermann gets very upset at other racers.
So if you need some new tunes for warm ups, riding fast, driving faster. Check out Volbeats new one. Not to heavy, just heavy enough. Plus if you like Elvis you get it.




Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Minor Victory and a Lot of Mud

With new perspective on fun, I drove up to Kletsch on a warm Saturday morning. It was less of the mountain bike course it has been in the past, but it still had the hellacious hill run up. A good course and a fun day for the race put on by our friends at Pegasus.

Dave Eckel was in front of me for most of the race, but in the last lap I caught him. I tried to pass him up the rideable hill but he matched my effort. So we rode together to the last set of barriers just meters before the finish. My repaired knee doesn't always like full-speed barriers: it crumples sometimes in that first step off the bike. It happened in Grafton, and I crashed into the barrier.

I rode up next to Dave and decided I was either going to crash or beat him. The knee held, I ran quickly, and sprinted to the line. Dave had a rough remount and finished behind me.

When I drove to today's race in Cambridge at the Camrock County Park, it rained the entire way. I smiled a lot. And when I arrived, I could see the first set of cat 4 masters covered in mud! Oh frabjous day!

I love me my Fangos in the mud! In the first lap, I could actually stay with Ferguson and the boys at the front because of the tires and bike handling. But as the course dried out, the mud became sticky peanut butter. I don't have the power yet to ride through that kind of muck. I understand now why HeMan thought I should get two sets of the Fangos. When I switched bikes midway through the race, the Grifos held nicely but not like their mud brothers.

Eckel pulled away from me today. It's becoming a fun rivalry as he has gotten much better this year. Another big improvement has been Mark McGeen, who won today's race.

Next week is the Halloween cross at Washington Park in Milwaukee, then onto Wizzard Cross at the new venue in Madison. Hopefully, my legs will continue to improve with more races in them. Maybe I'll find some power along the way!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tulsa Racing Weekend

Quick recap: Tulsa races for some reason typically have large payouts so with all the 'big boys' gathering in the Midwest (central Midwest) for a Friday night and Saturday event I didn't want to miss out.

Course was interesting to say the least with the upper level being mtb'ish and the lower simply running back and forth with 180's. No complaining here as variety is the spice of life and from time to time I need to back away from the delicious 'cross course buffet KC provides and snack elsewhere.

Front row start for the 3's and was in the top 6 half way through the first lap when a guy cut in front of my wheel, engaged my front, and !POING! a broken spoke. Still riding it when at the start of lap 2 I flatted a KCCX loaner rear (since mine went flat in warm ups right before the start) carbon wheel/Grifo and didn't want to damage it so I called it a day (after two freaking laps).

Was frustrated and simply wanting to race something I jumped in the 50 minute Masters, got a third row start spot (crap), made several early attacks riding super solid and finished 3rd (nice little bank paid for the weekend). Never rode outside of my abilities and was climbing and accelerating pretty decent.

My CHALLENGE Grifo XS's were spot on for this course and they performed outstanding and the Blue rode like a 'cross bike should - point and shoot (fast). Always fun wearing the MWI kits to new areas as tons of comments were made all evening.

Here's a video of the Rut N Guts highlights (I am in there a handful of times):





***Katherine Walberg, Kenda rider from Topeka, winning the women's race on the 2010 Blue Norcross - sweet!***

Woke the next morning and headed to a local bike shop before Saturday's race to get a new spoke repair, but found the hub damaged and rendered the wheel useless (not a big deal as it was pretty old and in need of replacement soon).

With Slime Tubes in hand I headed to the Newblock Park Cyclocross race near downtown Tulsa. The reason for the 'slimers' was Friday night's main conversation was about how the GOATHEAD thorns were everywhere a on the Newblock course (and they were correct). Folks were flatting left and right in warm ups and racing, but I guess the Slime tubes inside the Grifo XS's did they job as I didn't have a single issue.

Wanting to get home earlier I hopped in the Masters race again and rode the 'crit style' course (wide open with no tight anything) to another 3rd place finish. Once again the Challenge XS's flew on this course and were the right pick.

Super fun weekend which netted me races #8 and 9 for the season so far. Taking next weekend off as I need a week of easy recovery riding before the assault on the 2nd half of the season with Jingle Cross and MO State Championships coming up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

No recap...






Wow, all I do is post photos of myself. Well some weeks that's all there is time for and all I have, but I do have a few bits for you this week.

I rode my bike around in circles at a race down in Illinois, nothing really happened.


File Treads - buy them, practice on them, and they will rock your socks off. Seriously, take a look at what tyres Stybar won the World Cup on over the weekend. The Challenge Grifo XS are just the ticket for smooth grassy races. When these bad boys come out of the quiver, speedy smiles follow!

I still think fly-overs are the "spiral-of-death" for 2010, even thought this one was huge it still didn't add anything to the race (sorry Ted) it was simply another forced dismount. Okay it did allow the course to figure 8 itself...

Japanese Cartoon - can't stop listening to their new EP. They were inspired by Joy Division, so if that's your thing then you should check them out!

Next up - the mwi traveling circus hits up the Lou'ville USGP.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

PsychoCross


I went down to Chicago land for racing on Saturday. Our good friend Ted put on a race as part of the Chicago Cup series, and asked us to come down to support him. For all Ted does for us, I figured I would go down and do what I could to help. Ted asked me to be the race doctor, which I thought was pretty funny, but I said sure! I had to be there for the entire day, so why not race as much as possible.

So, I leave the house about 6 am to get down there to pre-ride the course and be available for first aid when the first race starts. Little did I know I would have to dodge bullets during pre-ride, literally. Some dudes were hunting in the area with gunshots poppin' off while we where checking out the course. Oh well, just ride faster than the bullets, right?

So the course was held on a golf driving range, but was actually fun with many fast swoopy turns and a fly over (I know some peoples' view on fly overs, but whatever, it was something different).

Anyway, I line up for the masters 30+ race. I end up 4th row in the grid. Boo. I have a decent start from that position and continue to work my way up. I'm feeling pretty good, able to put down some power, make some good passes and to top it off, I'm having fun! I end up 6th, just out of the money, but happy with how it went.

Next up, Pro/1/2/3 race. At this point my legs are starting to feel like poo. I've been standing around all day. I've already raced and my motivation is kind of low. I kit up, do my old school warm up (which means pretty much nothing) and go to the start grid. Again, I lined up 3rd or 4th row, everyone at this point is just packed together. I have another decent start. I make some passes, then, I get chopped in a couple corners and that's it. I drop 10-15 places, arrrvvvvvv! I need to get better at that soooooo bad. Crusty? Mike? Bueller?

I keep working my way up, theme here, until I'm in a group of 4 that is running just outside the top 10. I'm feeling good again, just sitting in a bit and recovering. Then one of the guys makes a move, two of us follow. No problem right? A half lap later, things start to shut down. My legs start cramping and there is no power left in them. I see the two guys fade into the distance and think of what could have been. Now, I think, just don't let the guy behind me make the catch. I end up enjoying the last 2 laps, flashing waves and other gestures at my fans, I mean fan, I mean the one Title Sponsor that was there supporting (some of the sponsors had to work, you know, so they can sponsor!). I finish 16th, but had a ton of fun and some great training for the coming weeks.

Next up?

USGP Louisville

Perspective, Once Again

No legs this weekend, but perspective from one race definitely made the second a lot more fun.

I wasn't really happy to travel to Badger Prairie for the race Saturday. I'd much rather be traveling with Mike and Ross and the traveling mwi circus.

Nor am I a fan at all of that course. It's all hills or descents.

But as a way of appeasing my spirit that I can still race cross, I'm chasing WCA points.

The course met all expectations. Boring. The only interesting parts were bunny-hopping the railroad planks and railing some higher speed corners. (I don't think I've ever bunny-hopped anything successfully before!)

And before the race, I was amped up, maybe too much. I got a good start sitting third behind Greg and Mark, the two I really wanted to keep up with. But my head started to drag my legs into the hard Dane County earth.

Too much self-expectation and pressure makes my head and legs explode. I did not ride well. I did not keep up with Greg or Mark or anyone else, really.

After the race, Mike told me on the phone that I have to look at the big picture. First, I'm still recovering. Second, I don't have many races in my legs since the crash. Most of these guys raced a full mountain bike and/or road season. I didn't.

Then Crusty told me, again on the phone, that a lot of this season is working toward next season. Getting races in the legs, getting used to the suffering on the bike again.

That night, Myerson twitted about practicing patience and perseverance. Okay, I'm getting the message.

I drove down to Carpentersville Saturday afternoon to avoid more driving. And since I'm not joining the circus on any races, this is my chance to do a road trip. Got a lot of class work done, visited Emmett's Brewery in Dundee for a couple of pale ales and an amazing burger.

The race this morning in Carpentersville, Il was just what the doctor ordered. It was the most fun cross course I've done in a long time (sorry, Mike, our course was hard and challenging, but the climbing was not fun for me!) There were off-cambers, straightaways, an awesome little hill that was a blast to descend, an easy sand pit, and a couple of barriers. There was even a hoop-te-do with six mounds of dirt closely spaced, like a moto-cross obstacle.

It is definitely the kind of race I want to come back next year to win. It was so much fun I did a cool down lap on the course, and seriously considered shotgunning the 30 plus just to race some more!

Once more thanks to Mike and Craig for offering their wisdom. I'm a pretty emotional guy (what a surprise!) and get amped up easily. I'm learning (even at my advanced age) to channel that energy into positive fun.

Even when I'm riding so hard, I can't see straight and puked a lap ago....

Badger Prairie - Further Cross

So yesterdays race...it was... lets see, a grass crit. Wasn't a big fan with it's short hills, followed by jackhammering down hills through mowed prairie fields. Not enough of cross staples for me. Only a small bit of technical stuff with two sets of double barriers that were pretty freakin' close together - enter the tech - barriers - exit the tech - barriers - then grass hiking paths.

I digress. 70 Cat 4 lined up on an awesome fall day. Temps were a little on the warm side and after a lap I decided I was over dressed in my awesome MWI long sleeve skinsuit. I just can't seem to give that thing up for races. Pro.

Oh, noteworthy event in the starting chute. One rider tried to sneak around on the grass after the whistle to go for the hole shot.......except he didn't see the lap counter, cones, and other miscellaneous items that were lying in wait. E for Endo! Heads up while sprinting kids!

The wind started taking it's toll on me on the last lap, just before the second set of barriers - straight headwind on a slight rise. Then onto the gravel road I felt like I was in slow motion. Got passed by 3 fellas, but in turn I passed a few. Nailed what little technical bits were left and drove the bike home for 17th.

Judging by results and the names on said results, I need to work on my starts. There's a handful of names that I know I am more than capable of pwn'ing in any given cross race. But I had to weed my way from 3 rows back. I was somewhat aggressive, but I need to get to the front of the line. Not necessarily the hole shot, but top 10. Do it! Bike driving skills are still on the rise and I'm feeling more confident with every race and every practice during the week. Barriers are a big strength for me, but I'm going to keep hammering then and work on attacking through them.

Kletzsch on schedule for next weekend. Power course with bits of technical and a couple hills, one run up and one ride. Work calls on Sunday so no Cam-Rock for me.

Stoked for next weekend and it's not even Monday yet! ---Cross bug in full effect.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A few of my favorites...

From our CrosstheDomes race. Enjoy.

DSC_2663

DSC_3021

DSC_3018


DSC_3014

DSC_2904

DSC_2999

DSC_3007

DSC_2963

Monday, October 11, 2010

Grafton Pumpkin Cross and Bagpipes

It was a wide-open race in the 45 plus with Greg Ferguson gone. So I had hopes of bringing home a W. Dave Eckel and another rider took off from the start, but I stayed third or fourth wheel for the next few laps. Different riders took the lead as Dave and another faded.
   The guy who won obviously had some physical issues when he went over the barriers but he was quicker on the bike. But we were neck and neck with some others for most of the race. No one could get a commanding lead.
   Then disaster struck in quick succession. I slid out on a dusty corner and let two guys pass me when I was second. I crawled back to second again, then somehow crashed into a barrier. No idea what happened. But all day I felt like I was driving the bike poorly.
   I finished 6th on the day, a disappointing end to what could have been a nice victory or at least a podium finish.
   But the good side is that each race I'm feeling stronger. We're about to go into the part of the season where I'm racing both days each weekend. I'm going to need to be careful about recovery so I feel strong and fresh going into the race.
   As for the course, I'm not a huge fan. It was a short lap. Not a fan of pavement to grass sharp corners and there were several, especially after a long downhill stretch that I was spun out in my biggest gear.
   The highlight of the day, without question, was dancing to a wild Irish band after most everyone had gone home. Patrick, Jess, and I did the team proud by slamming into each other, dancing wildly, and drinking some beer.
   Cross races need more bagpipe!

HOT AND DUSTY...OHIO UCI3

As we were loading up to head to 3 days of racing in Ohio, Crusty sent word that he had injured his mangina and would be unable to attend. Another year and another mangina flare up - I think he should see a specialist.

It has been unseasonably warm in the Midwest and Ohio was no different. Friday would prove to be a dramatic change from last years day one mud fest. 85+ degrees in a dust bowl.

Back Half of Day One. The less hilly side...


Front half - hilly side...
Day one, what can I say it was hilly, hot, and hard! I started well but the exceeding long pavement start followed by the long back and forth through the dustbowl proved to be a bit too much and I started to pay the price. Laps 2 and 3 were.... well I kind of mentally imploded per usual. But I managed to regain a bit of composure and pick a few guys off during laps 4 and 5. Not my favorite day, but better than the 1.6K hamster course back here in Wisconsin... The big news on the day - maybe the only time I beat Ross this season, unless he continues to crash and break stuff.

Day Two, I like the second day course of the Ohio UCI3 races much better. (Katie Compton calls it her favorite course of the year!) Good flow and nice technical sections. But guys for serious I am sending you some rakes next year. I had another decent start...


Must be the first lap, I am in front of Ross...

But then those pesky laps 2 and 3. If I could find a way to skip those laps I might be pretty damn fast! Hey coach are you reading - hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink... Had a ton of fun on Saturday driving my bike, but couldn't hold the pace up the start climb and after the second sand run each lap and lost ground. Laps 4 and 5 I was sitting last wheel in a little group, the guy in front would not let me pass, but kept letting the wheel in front of him slip. One bike length, 2 bike lengths, 4 bike lengths... in just a few hundred meters. I yelled "at least hold the wheel if you aren't going to let me pass!" (it may have been worded a bit less nice than that, but I can't remember...) He couldn't and the gap grew until I forced my way around but it was too late.


Chasing solo.

To make matters worse, I apparently was given a different number for day 2 (despite all signage stating to keep your number for all three days, signing in on day two and not being given said new numbers) and since I signed in but was wearing my original number was listed as "AB" - abandoned - WTF. I find all of this out on Sunday after trying to sign in for the last day of racing. I am told they are going to "look" into it but mid pack is mid pack either way.

Ahhh Day C. Fast, hot, and fun! Let's see how did those first 2 days go - good start, bad laps 2 and 3, come back on a bit for 4 and 5. Yep day 3 would be more of the same, however those middle laps weren't quite as bad, not good just not catastrophic. Going into lap 3 up the long thick grass finish hill a group passed me and I couldn't do a thing about it (coach are you still reading?) that was it, top 20 riding away...

Funny story... here
This was right after he passed me at the top 180 turn before bombing down this descent. I yelled "NICE pass Marc" and well he heard different. So glad I went over to say hi after the race. It really was a sweet move, so jealous!


Sunday was fun!

So Ohio UCI3 - will I go back? Probably! I really hope this race weekend continues to grow, despite it's hiccups (all races have them) it has been a fantastic weekend of racing the last two years, even if the "Travelling Circus" was a few members short this year.

If you want to see some top notch photos of the Elite races head over to our "Traveling Circus" Team member Lyne's awesome website! Not only amazing photos but interviews as well. And be on the lookout for some cool stuff coming from Lyne in the not to distant future...


Parting shot. Take a close look at those socks on their way to a 5th place at Sundays C1 race!

Brian is a great guy and we try to help him out whenever we can. He won our race a week ago and got some socks. He raced in them Friday and Sunday - thanks for the love Brian. Be sure to check out his account of Friday night/Saturday morning...

Thanks to my Numero Uno Sponsor for the pics!

Crusty will you shut the hell up about a recap now?!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

De-Feet

Well, since I have not been racing lately - that's what 2 months on a construction site in Memphis will do to you - the least I could do is offer a product review of the latest MWI branded product - the De-Feet Aireator MWI Socks. Some of your are already aware of the De-Feet brand of socks, but please stick with me for a few minutes.

I received my order of MWI De-Feet socks in the mail Friday, and being pretty particular about those things, promptly tossed them in the wash - I had clothes from my trip in my suitcase; please don't think I was wasting water on a whole load for three pairs of socks.

I mainly look for two things in socks. First, the fit, and second the comfort and position of the toe seam.

As far as the fit goes, I have size 8 1/2 to 9 feet, so I am at the extreme upper end of S/M socks, and the extreme low end of L/XL socks, so my feet look for the proverbial "Goldilocks" socks - not too big, not too small, but just right. The De-Feet fit my feet pretty well - my toes were in the toe and my heel was in the heel, which wasn't pulled up on my ankle. The toe seam is thin -thick ones can irritate and cause blisters - and seems to stay put, pretty much where you had it when you put your socks on, not mashed up at the tips of my toes, or pulled up on top of my foot, just what a toe seam should do.

Of all my socks, I probably have the most from the Sock Guy, and they are nice, but the toe seam needs occasional repositioning, unlike my first two rides (22, and 17 miles) with the De-Feets, which I put on and forgot about them, The MWI De-Feet socks are just a bit thinner than Sock Guy socks, and maybe not quite as stretchy. I think that the thin-ness will be a benefit for the colder wet days, when I like to wear a second pair of waterproof over socks, inside the shoe.

Overall, I give the De-Feet Aireators two big toes up. Go out and get you a pair and try them for yourselves.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Boss Cross #1

The Southern Chapter of mwi dawned the colors on Saturday in the lovely setting of Riverside, MO. Always a nice setting for CX action JJ & myself lined behind the big boys. The 3's actually went 60 minutes following a 30sec gap from the 1/2/3's which also did 60 min. I must say going around for 9 or 10 laps is an awful long time. Adding some money to the bank for races later on in the season.

The course screamed pure Missouri technical. Twisty, tight turns, off cambers, you name it we had it. The other benefit is that this crowd can actually drive their bikes rather well. Although some like to the body block(I was a recipient) in a nasty 180 uphill corner. Well let me take that back, as the race wore on skillz starting slipping for some. A mistake here, a mistake there and bang lose a spot.

As for myself I played the conservative game, pace thy self. The interesting thing about 60min is that the first few laps are free. What seemed like an entire race for me, especially just coming back from a UCI C1, was just beginning. When they posted the laps to go I saw SEVEN! Holy shittee! Never had I thought I would actually use a gel during a CX race but I did! For about 3-4 laps four of us were jockeying for what position I did not know. Pure joy and entertainment I gotta say. After a couple of bobbles and one serious rubbed tire the competition was eliminating itself without me having to body block or anything. Thanks guys.

In the end JJ got 2nd with me coming in for 8th. Good day for SCmwi.