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.
Friday, October 1, 2010
- ► 2011 (32)
- 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
- Manion's CX & Dirt Crit/Short Track a Wrap
- ▼ October (16)