Monday, December 20, 2010
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
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.
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.
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
Sunday, November 28, 2010
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.
Paul Chili Warloski
Thursday, November 25, 2010
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
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.
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
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
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).
Sunday, November 14, 2010
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.
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
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
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.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
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?
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
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
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
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
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
- 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.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
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
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
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
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.
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....
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
Monday, October 11, 2010
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!
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.
Front half - hilly side...
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...
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...
Sunday was fun!
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...
Crusty will you shut the hell up about a recap now?!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
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
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.
- ► 2011 (32)
- ▼ December (3)
- Jingle Cross Rookie
- That's It!
- I'm not done yet
- Mom I'm Changing Majors!
- Not Quite What I'd Hoped For
- Kansas Double Race Weekend
- Some People Can Race Sick
- Sun Prairie CX? More Like Cold Prairie!
- Double Down Saturday
- ChiCrossCup - Woodstock
- Ummmm...it's bumpy?
- One Bigger Gear...
- 'Cross STL Style
- First, first and tenth
- Bunny Hop or Die
- LouVull USGP
- A Minor Victory and a Lot of Mud
- Tulsa Racing Weekend
- No recap...
- Perspective, Once Again
- Badger Prairie - Further Cross
- A few of my favorites...
- Grafton Pumpkin Cross and Bagpipes
- HOT AND DUSTY...OHIO UCI3
- Boss Cross #1