Saturday, December 31, 2011

CCC-New Year's Resolution: Day One

Day one started without:
- proper caffeination
- proper breakfast
And day one started at 5:20 a.m.!

I chose not to wear leg warmers, which turned out to be a mistake because by the third lap, I could feel the energy escaping from my legs.

First two laps went very well. I started sixth row, moved up into top 15 or higher. Lots of long open stretches made for a hard day, kind of like doing vo2 intervals!

Not sure of my finish today, but I slowed down a little when I got cold and was passed by three guys who I had passed earlier. Top 20, I'd guess, in a strong field.

Course was very open, lots of grass, some good mud sections, and a lot of sand traps that had sketchy lips when you exited. This is a course that will change throughout the day. For example, I could ride up the dirt hill until the last lap when it was getting too greasy. Ross, who is about to race, will be running up the hill!

This was a good warm up for tomorrow!! Just need to make sure I find some coffee!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Two days of racing with the 360 Cup and the Boulevard Cup at Stump park in Shawnee made for a nice fall weekend full of cyclocross and free beer!

I started the weekend Saturday with the Master's 40+ race at the 360 Cup. The course was fairly technical with a long sustained climb every lap - actually the climb was my favorite part of the course, and I passed people every time up.

There were some really FAST old guys racing with me, and I wound up getting lapped on the 3rd of 7 laps, only to crash out hard on the 4th lap on a steep down hill left hander turn right after the big climb - the handlebar shaped bruise is almost gone, though.

Before I crashed out, I was rockin' the eye burning stars version of the MWI kits (my personal favorite), and after a few races on my team edition Corsa 2.3T's, I couldn't be happier with them - they're light, stiff, awesome looking, and they make me feel fast, which is almost as important as being fast, or at least that's what I tell myself.

Saturday, I had full intention of doubling up and racing SS, but not wanting to repeat that nasty little crash incident, I decided to have a cold one and regroup for Sunday's Boulevard Cup single speed race. Sunday's course was wide, flat and fast, with most of the technical difficulties coming along a berm on the west side of the park which was up and down punchy little climbs about 10 times including a run-up, which left many racers cursing. There was a cool - and ridable - sand pit, which I made it across very nicely, only once putting a foot down due another rider cutting into my line. I had a good day, battling back and forth with a couple of guys, and sprinting hard for the line but just missing the guy in front of me by about half a bike length. Even though it was for 13th, it felt great to have a little left and sprint like that at the end of a 45 min race.

As you can see, the trusty old Blue with the Single Speed Corsa 1.2ACR's did great in the sand, although the flat course had me spinning out the 38x19 gearing.

Finally, thanks for Jon Peck for the pictures and for a little push to keep be from falling over in the sand.

Monday, November 7, 2011

KC - 360 Cup and Blvd Cup

This past week I did some smart things after doubling up in the Masters/Open at BC #3; I made sure I got plenty of rest (Monday & Tuesday), got in a great 'big gear' interval session on the Frisco finished up with 4 start simulations which included a long dismounted run for each (felt totally recovered), another rest day (Thursday) and then a little bike driving on Friday (included routine openers). Recovery & rest had me feeling ready to go for the 360 series races kickoff weekend.

Headed of to KC's west side Stump Park... pulled up and immediately realized elevation was in play. After talking with some masters guys who raced earlier and taking a quick pre-ride it was clear there were places to make solid efforts and plenty of places to recover. No dismounts required as the barriers were short (easy to clear) and the potential for a run up was rideable every lap (even in the opening traffic). Fun course with a lot of off-camber stuff and just a great layout.

Got there too late to watch Karl racing the Masters, but I imagine he did the MWI kit proud.

Good pre-rides and warmup had me toeing the Open line with 23 others (most notable was the front line of who's who of the fast kids minus only the Tradewind folks). Got off to an OK start and things went better as the race progressed. Ended up riding most of the race with Troy Krause (NE masters guru) until I simply couldn't hold his pace up the climb with 4 to go. From then on it was chase and fend off those coming behind. I caught a decent second wind with 2 to go and made a run at TK only to come up short by about 5 seconds to finish 12th (of 24). I am not a climbing type of guy so I was pleased with my result and especially my handling as it was a clean race hitting good lines pretty much all race.
***Great photos from Roger Harrison, Keith Walberg, and Jon Peck***
Early in the race chasing GLove

Pulled up to Stump Park on Sunday, pre-rode the fast power course which was totally different from the day before. Flat open start into a couple switchbacks, more flat pedaling into tall barriers, to a fun technical section (that kept you on your toes) of up and downs and off camber turning (with a short steep dismount bump), then more power pedaling, thru a deep sand pit (totally rideable even though I dumped it once - can you say Her-Crustules ala 2010 Herman?) back to open pedaling... and do it for an hour with no recovery to speak of.
Got to catch Karl drilling it in the SS events; great job, my man.

Lined up with another good sized field of fast kids (27) and off we go for the BLVD Cup Open. Got a decent start (for me) and tried to keep the gas going from there on. For most of the race I swapped spots with a guy from NE (Noah something) in the lower teens in placings; I would put in a dig and open a gap, he would then counter... it made for a non-stop on the gas FUN race. At the end Noah bobbled in the technical section, I punched it, and was able to hold on for 11th. Once again I was satisfied with the way I raced mentally and physically and came away with a little confidence boost going into the rest of the season. Oh, on a side note, I dumped it three times during the race (once in the sand - embarrassing and twice simply pushing the technical sections a little too fast when smoothness and reserved was needed. Fun layout and great racing!
Short, but steep little 'bump' zapped the legs
Another great course layout! The last three races/venues have been super and the FUN FACTOR 'cross racing on these courses is off the chart!

Still tentative to really open up fully on the first lap as in the back of my head I continually think "it's an hour, conserve for later...". I need to get past this as I am losing too many places early and spend the rest of the race chasing those I should be near early on. Now, that being said, it's interesting racing with the same guys several times as I can pretty much tell you who will go out hard and fade in the last 20 minutes of racing while I feel I am hitting close to negative splits (runners term). Gotta figure out how to fix this mentally...

Next weekend I'm heading to L'ville for my first USGP. I registered pretty early and might have a 1st or 2nd row start for the 2/3 race. With it only being 40 minutes I am going to have to kill it early to hope to get in the top 20 (wishful thinking and actually have no expectations). Should be fun.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I raced the Singlespeed race at Boss Cross #3 last Saturday - in between JJ's double-up - and had a lot of fun for my first time on a BMX track.

Like JJ said, most of the technical challenges on the course were concentrated around the BMX track area - a gravel section, a double log crossing with a gravel hairpin turn in the middle of the two logs, the BMX track, a loose dirt section, a sharp but rideable uphill, and final gravel section - all within about a quarter mile on the course. The rest of the course was pretty plain - lots of open but very bumpy grass riding, and one standard set of double barriers.

I had a fairly good start and settled in around 9th with a couple of other SS'ers right close to me. I stayed close for most of the race, passing them both as the race went along, finishing in 8th place, didn't get lapped, and scoring my first SS Boss Cross series points.

I did see a couple of injuries on course Sunday - one guy hurt his ankle during warm-ups, and one guy crashed pretty hard on his head on the BMX track during the SS race. It really reminded me to be careful on course and take it slow on the features I'm not comfortable with - at 41 years old, I'm not bulletproof like I was when I was 21.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Doubling Up at Boss Cross #3 (BMX Style)

Boss Cross #3 was yesterday and for the first time this year I doubled up (Masters and Open). Scheduling has been the main reason this hadn't yet happened, but with a single day of racing instead of two this past weekend and a little extra time I jumped in the pain cave...

Sunday I headed to KC for a new venue; Raytown BMX track. The layout was fun with a semi-technical section (pretty short) on an actual BMX track (high bern corner, rhythm section...) then the rest was full on open flat pedaling in some non-technical grass fields. Temps were pretty nice for 'cross, but the wind was a gust'in and that would suck in the open sections.

Got to the site early, got in some good warm up laps, then off to the start line. Gun goes off, David H drifts my way a tad, Jeff Yielding and I almost lock bars, and by first turn I re-gathered myself and set on David through the BMX part, then BOOM! Once we got to the open area he flat took off. Shea Bergman and myself kept it steady with Jeff on our tail and we were not closing anything on David. Jeff jumped around and I went with him (with Shea on my wheel) until I fell off Jeff's pace. From there Shea and I worked some together until he dropped me. I worked for a good 1/2 lap to trying to close it to him, but it wasn't happening. 5th place was wayyyy behind us and knowing I was riding the Open in a couple hours I backed off the pace to save what was left the legs. Ended up 4th (DH won, JY 2nd, Shea 3rd).
Here I am chasing David thru the rhythm sections
The learning curve for riding the BMX track was steep!!

Had two hours to recover and prep again...

Regular fast kids lined up in the Open and short into the first lap settled in 8th-15th (pretty good group just stuck together) and stayed their for the first handful of laps. I pushed the effort a couple times trying to break it up, but felt the efforts of the Masters race and decided to 'hide out' for a couple to see if I could make it to the end. During this time Micheal Gaherty, my MWI teammate, started mixing it up and so for the first time in forever we actually raced as a team and took turns firing attacks while the other covered all the moves behind. Mike made a strong move with about four to go that shattered the group while I sat on a Dogfish rider who was trying to run him down. A Colovita guy jumped the group next and I quickly moved to his wheel as he was moving pretty good and with three to go he had caught Mike with only I on his wheel. This guy tried to attack us in a gravel section and went down (hard!) so Mike and I quickly buried ourselves swapping pulls and opened a big gap. I grabbed a second wind just about the time Mike started to cramp. He moved backwards to the chasing Dogfish rider while I held on for a couple laps to get 10th and Mike 12th. Some of the funnest racing I've done in a while and big thanks to Mike for such great teamwork.
As we loaded up my body was completely drained, but in a good way. Don't know how many more 'double ups' I have, but it was definitely what I needed for this one day event. Solid day of racing!

Up next is 360 Cup on Saturday and Blvd Cup on Sunday; cash payout for Masters which is a rarity these days so it should be loaded as ever with some fast folks.
** Above photos from Roger Harrison and Mark Breeding - sweet pics, guys **

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yesterday in K.C., the Epic Cycling Team pitched in and filled an open spot with a new race at the Pflumm / Bichelmeyer Park in Shawnee.

The course was fairly short - 5 to 5 1/2 minute laps - and was full of tight hairpin and off-camber turns, one set of barriers, one curb drop-off, and two of my least favorite features - sand runs. You entered both sand runs on a right hander turns, both runs included a 90 degree turn in the middle of the pit, and they were pretty much back to back with about 10 to 15 yards of grass between the first and second sand pit.

I did the Masters 40+ race which wound up being 9 laps, but I got lapped with 3 to go, and only did 8 laps. I felt good to only get lapped once - I just didn't have anything in the tank or in the legs for the race. A combination of a course that didn't suit me, plus a long rough week sealed my fate - I finished 17th out of 20 starters.

Next week, I'll be out on the SS bike at Boss Cross #3 at the Raytown BMX facility. After that I'm going to take a weekend off - I don't know if I deserve it, but I sure feel like I need it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Joules Cross in Lawrence, KS

Busy week at home leading up to the weekend and I debated and debated between heading to STL for a Bubba weekend (Sat night and Sunday late afternoon race) or head to Lawrence KS for Joules Cross (Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning races). Made a Friday night decision to keep it closer to home and headed off to Joules Saturday for the Open race. I raced one day at Joules last year (mechanical took me out 15 minutes in) and while it was not high on my list of favorites, it would be two days of solid racing with quality competition.

Got to the course and the pre-ride found it much like last year which meant moderate up and downs, little bumpy & rough, and wide open power pedaling with 0.0% technical aspect (not my strong suit). Chatted up some friends, warmed up, and at 3:15 it was go time.

A smallish quality field of 14 lined up and after an hour of suffrage I was 9th after a frustrating day of felling 'off' and never could mentally or physically get it going. I will openly admit it's hard to get mentally fired up for a race you know your going to get drilled; in other words I could have my best race of my life and be absolutely lucky to get a top 6, oh well, enough pity...

*photos from Keith Walberg and Roger Harrison*

Sunday morning got in a solid warm up and pre-ride (much different course with less elevation change still a power course, but a little longer) and lined up in the Masters 40+. Good group of guys and solid racers. David H. jumped away and George Robinson (Slimen) dangled the entire race around 10-15 seconds ahead (simply couldn't close the gap) and finished 3rd. I raced much better as being near the front will do that to a person (unlike the Open for me).

Next weekend is race-free and I am looking forward to being home with the family. I now have 8 races done and achieved my main goal of the early season with winning the overall Cat 3 at Hermann and racing solid at both Boss Cross 1 & 2 events. I feel like I am racing better, smarter, and faster than last year, but that might just me my imagination.

My next month 'run' includes Boss Cross 3 (masters and Open), 360 Cup & Blvd weekend, and then L'ville USGP.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oakley Night Cap Cross

Saturday, Mike Gaherty and I took a ride up to Des Moines (that's in Iowa) for the Oakley Night Cap Cross race.

The race was held at Mullets Bar and Restaurant, which is across from the Principal Park, where the Iowa Cubs play, and right at the point where the Raccoon River meets the Des Moines River. (It's amazing what you can learn from Google Maps)

The course was set-up along the levee and grassy area near the Raccoon River, and in a small field outside of Mullets. The course was fairly short - only about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per lap - but it was a wide layout with lots of room to ride and pass. There were three obstacles, two full barriers, one on the river levee, and one on a sharp uphill back to the Mullets field, and one railroad tie, which, depending on the race, about 50% to 80% of the racers hopped (I don't have to tell you I was one of the 20% to 50% who ran it, but in the end, hopping it or running it was about the same time wise)

Mike and I lined up in the Masters 35+, starting at 5:00pm and went for 40 minutes, which turned out to be 11 laps for the leaders, and 10 for me. On such a short course, I felt good about only getting lapped once. I had a good start by my standards, coming down the levee about 11th. I passed one guy at the first barrier/run-up, then spent the next two laps chasing a couple of guys, and I had caught and passed them by about the third of fourth lap. I raced back and forth with a couple of the 45+ guys for the rest of the race, and finished 8th out of 14, +1 lap. Mike finished 2nd, and scored a bunch of Miller Lite and Oakley swag, and a gift certificate to Mullets, which we took advantage of before we left.

The guys at Bike Iowa put on an awesome race at a great, spectator friendly venue, with a live band, a bunch of light plants to light up the whole course since the last race didn't start until 10:00pm, food and drink specials at the restaurant, and tons of spectators who got more rowdy as the night went on - a perfect urban cyclocross race. Mike and I both said we'll be back again.

Next week I'm staying local for the Epic Bike and Sport "Shawnee Rescue Radcross" in Shawnee (obviously.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

'Cross out Cancer - from a few places back

First of all, thanks to Roger Harrison for the picture. He's a great suporter of Kansas City area cycling.

As you can tell from the title, I raced with JJ last weekend, but finished a couple dozen places behind. It was a beautiful day on a course that was full of technical twists and turns and fast power sections, and as you can see from the picture above, a need for me to work on my bunny hops. I was happy to finish without getting lapped - always important when your wife and in-laws are watching.

This weekend, Crusty, Mike G. and I are heading up to Des Moines for Rob's Oakley Night Cap Cross at Mullet's on the river.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cross'ing Out Cancer on a Recovery Week

This past week worked out way better than I ever imagined...

I try to stick with a training routine of 3 weeks on the gas and 1 recovery/rest and this past weekend it came at a really good time. I was starting to feel the five races over the past three weeks and after Boss Cross 1 & 2 I turned the training volume and intensity way down. Got in some cruising miles on the road, the Frisco, and some good ol' Polk County backroads and restarted my two-a-week run/stadium step workouts.

On Sunday I needed to get back to Bolivar early for an event so I opted to race the Cross Out Cancer event in KC for the early Masters 35+ race instead of the Open three hours later. It's been since early last year that I last toed the line with the masters and was surprised to find 28 guys in my race alone (and not really sure how many of the other categories were on course at the same time, but it was a ton).

Course was pretty similar to last year, some open pedaling stuff, lots-o-turns, regular set of barriers, and a low set (which was easily 'hoppable' every lap). Temps were a tad warmish for Oct cross and with a lack of rain the ground was hard and bumpy (easy fix with tubulars). Not a favorite, but it was fine.

Gun goes off and Brendon Jenks (360 guy) jumps out and solo's for most of the first lap with myself and a Slimen guy close behind. The Slimen guy joins Jenks and I get pretty close to contact before they open up a gap and that was it. Slimen guy rides off solo for the win while I chase Jenks at a 20 second distance for the rest of the race. We finish that way while 4th (a Cow Town guy) finished not too far down on me.

Solid effort and the 45 minute event was just what the 'recovery' doctor ordered for the last day before hitting full gas again. That extra 15 minutes in the Open really tax me and it was nice not to dig deep this week. Feeling physically and mentally recharged and refreshed is a good spot to be in after six races in three weeks (at least for me).

Up next is a couple Bubba (I know, the name if fitting for Missouri) races in STL next weekend; a Saturday night event (starts at 10pm!!!) and then a Sunday day race.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Boss Cross 1 & 2 (KC at it's Best)

Been looking forward to Jeremy and Joe's events since pulling off of the State course in December (they are just that good at setting up courses and running them off smoothly) and this weekend I partook in the goodness that is Boss Cross 1 (Saturday) and 2 (Sunday) in KC.

The week leading up had some quality workouts and bike driving, but Wednesday's intervals with Ira had me cooked and hoping I would recover before the weekend; which I did, but I was sweating it.

A quick walk thru and a couple laps ridden found it had a mix of a little bit of everything and was typical of a KC course (need to be able to drive a bike and have fitness). Bit bumpy in places, but with the dryness of late it was expected and a challenging double sand section every lap was going to be the demise of anyone not quick on their feet.

Ira (my main training partner) and I lined up in the Cat 3 field and before you know it I was off the front with Kyle Skinner (Bicycle Shack, or something like that). I led the first lap and then he took over for a couple. I put in a couple of attacks, he did they same,nd the result was neither could drop the other so 1/2 way thru we briefly chatted and took turns riding laps. On the last lap Kyle put in a well timed dig as we were passing a lapped rider (who apparently wanted

to race us - sigh) and the lapped guy dove in front of my on a tight corner and blew me off of Kyle's wheel with two turns to go and I never could reach him and finished 2nd. Oh well, it was a solid effort by both of us and he deserved the win. BC races the Cat 3 field with the Open so we race and hour like the big boys, but when after 3 laps they flashed 8 to go I knew it was going to be a long day and it turns out we raced for 1:13 minutes.

Picking up the awards (a little cash) Joe and Jeremy gave us some humorous crap about racing up as apparently we finished minutes ahead of 3rd place. Speaking of cash payouts: I'm of the opinion that two classes should get paid cash for placing: Men's Open and Women's Open, the rest should get some swag or a little something, but cash in the lower categories only entices guys to stick around and collect (absolutely temping, I must say). Example (and I told Joe this): Skinner got $60 for the win in Cat 3 and that's the same amount 2nd in the Open gets; I got $50 for 2nd and I believe that's the same as 3rd in Open... keep the cash for the Open guys and don't bait baggers (not saying that Kyle or I was, but the enticement is there).

Sunday Ira and my son Jake jumped in for the drive to KC for BC #2. I debated what to open and after a quick chat with Jeremy and Joe I moved up to the Open race. Smaller field than the day before, but still quality guys. The course was ran backwards and one technical section was removed which made for a much faster race. I felt good and at the end of the hour finished 8th (of 17 starters). I think this shows I need to race Open (and throw in some Masters) from here on out. I'll never see the front of these races, but don't imagine I'll see the tail end of them too often either...

Two great days of racing in somewhat warm temps, but nothing too bad. Looking forward to some events in the near future in the 50's for sure. My fitness appears pretty good and my 'punch' and 'snap' is still coming along nicely. Bike driving is at an all time high as the mtb'ing all spring and early summer along with our routine driving sessions during the week have me confident on most anything a course can throw at me, but I will admit the sand started feeling really long the last part of day 2...

Picked up my new MWI custom Giro Aeon helmet and that is the lightest lid I've ever seen. The MWI graphics are spot on sweetness; Mike H knocked it out again. *Picture is a little jacked as I was still cross-eyed on the drive home, but you get the gist*

Fun seeing the 'southern' MWI guys in full force and cheering them on as the fly the Jacka
lope banner proudly! I feel like the University of Oregon football team (multiple uniform combinations) as you never know who's going to wear what; I saw four different MWI kits in action the past two days.

Next week is racing in KC on Sunday at Cross Out Cancer.

Boss Cross #'s 1 & 2

I kicked of my '11-'12 cyclocross season this past weekend with a short drive up to Kansas City North to Barry-Platte Park for Boss Cross #'s 1 & 2.

With a few exceptions, the course was pretty much the same as last year's race. A very dry summer here in KC left the park bone dry, and some construction in the park - asphalt walking paths being replaced - left lots of gravel. The dirt and the gravel made for some sketchy corners, but for fast racing.

On Saturday there were 3 or 4 dismounts, depending on your speed and skill - two long sand pits, one set of barriers on a hill, and a short, sharp uphill that some ran and some rode. Sunday was the pretty much reverse of Saturday's course with the two runs thru the sand, but the sharp uphill was removed, and the barriers were moved to a long straight stretch which made them super fast, and I think really fun.

I would up with mixed results. On Saturday, I finished 11th out of 16 in the single speed race, but I didn't get lapped! Sunday, I DNF'ed with a broken pedal that happened right after the start. I was really disappointed - the course was really fast and I was really looking forward to the race.

Despite my poor showing, I did get to try out some of the new MWI goodies

  • I love the new Pactimo kit. The Ascent Pro Bib shorts are really comfortable and I really like the lycra compression leg gripper - hands down better than elastic grippers. The Ascent Jersey is very nice too, with nice comfortable arm openings and a rubberized gripper on the bottom to keep it in place.

  • My new Corsa Concepts 1.2ACR's were awesome. Greg built the rear up with a White Industries Eccentric ENO hub and a 19t White Industries Freewheel. I finished them off with Challenge Fango 32's and ran them at 30 to 32 psi, and they felt great in the dust, gravel and sketchy corners. My combination of 38t Chainring and 19t Freewheel was just about perfect for the up and down course.

  • The new MWI Oakley Jawbones were perfect for the hard bumpy course. The rubber nose pads held them in place great (my Minute 2.0's, which have been discontinued, are great, but have hard plastic nose pads.) Thanks to Rob for the super color selections, and thanks to my eye doctor for getting the prescription lenses.

So, that about wraps week 1. Next week I'll make the short drive to Shawnee Mission Park for Cross out Caner.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

USGP Planet (Awesome!) Bike Cup

Whew! What a weekend! The traveling circus rallied in Sun Prairie for the first leg of the USGP and I'll give you, dear reader, a brief race report of my butt crack early 4's race that went off Sat. and Sun. at 8AM.

Saturday: I was slated for a 2nd row start, but the fellas in the first row left the perfect lane open on the inside of the course. Thank you very much I said, as I took the HOLESHOT! Ooowwwwww! That was a goal of mine last season that never really materialized, but the nonetheless, I can put that one in my pocket.

Went down on a little off camber section after the double barriers as I was wanting to really pin it, but things were a little too slick from the morning dew for the super-fast high and tight line. Lost one slot.

Working hard ripping the corners, I couldn't get my legs to come around on the power sections and was passed by a peep, who I've done serious battle with last season. Next lap and a half-ish was spent closing the gap on 1st and 2nd wheels. Made the bridge and heard another guy coming up on our group. I was absolutely gassed, but I knew I couldn't sit on  to recover long before the 4th guy was going to make his move. Took about 6-7 seconds worth of deep breaths and attacked a power section that leads into a hairpin turn with a quick left to exit onto the pavement to work into the back section of the course. Biff. Over cooked it, went wide and my effort was wasted. The group flew by with a counter attack. See ya. I'm done.

Kept churning the pedals in for 4th. Fought a good battle and I was down right excite with that.

Sunday: Temps a little bit warmer at today's start, but the ground a little bit tackier with the light rain overnight. An okay start from the second row, I made up the 20 or so places I was back just after the start of lap 2. Up to 3rd place in 2.5ish laps and working on 2nd. Closing the gap to about 30m on several occasions in the power sections (really me?!? I ain't go no muscle!!), I could taste it.

Working for the podium with 1 to go, I could feel 4th place nipping at my heels. Deep breaths, thinking smooth is fast, I weave through the "snake pit" and work past the pits to the 180 followed by a left right chicane. NO!! NO!! NO!!!!!!!! With a now light rain coming down, my rear wheel slipped a bit causing me to lean hard and hold up a hot second on putting the gas back on in the power section. Boom. 4th place dude makes the pass. Shift up two gear, in the drops and crushing the pedals to close the gap, I can do it! No!! Yes, I can!! No, no I can't as he putting a couple seconds on me leading into the off camber uphill before the run up. Heart break is setting in as I schlep my yellow Mavic shoes up the run up. Roll in, head hanging, feeling crushed.

4th. Two days in a row. Not a bad result, but tasting the podium and then having it slip away is hard.

But wait. I'M NOT DONE YET!!! #CANTSTOPWONTSTOP I'm gonna to get ya Saturday and my stomach is full of anger!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday Night at Gateway Cross Cup in STL

Yesterday was the Gateway Cross Cup in STL Heman Park. Incredible event and a pretty cool venue which made the most of a pretty compact community park. Wednesday racing is a rarity, but no way were we going to miss racing and later catching the UCI.

Got in three laps a couple hours before our race and, man, that was a fast fun course with four dismounts (2 - short stairs, 1 - flyover, 1 - double barrier) and just about as flat of a course as I've raced. Lots of turning, but none very tight or technical and the Grifo's hooked up great. It was almost the anti-Hermann course; I was in trouble as there were a ton of great crit racers in my field...

Early registration for the USAC Open got me a front row on the start grid, got a solid jump (thanks Jim Davis for the photo) and almost got the hole shot coming off the asphalt, but I lost my nerve right before turning off and dropped into third or so into the grass. First lap was pretty quick and was feeling OK (but not great) and the second lap was disastrous; couldn't get my legs to do anything and had little zip which caused an immediate drop of way too many places. By mid-race I got a new breathe of life and felt really good, but the damage was done with all the spots lost earlier. Felt much better the 2nd half of the hour and was able to reel in several in the last laps to finish 20th (of 63 starters). I was OK with that and had a lot of fun. *Side action shot from Dan Singer -*

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shameless Commercial Advertising

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Dogfish Cross Starts the Season Off Right

nd just like that it's we're back at...

Jeff Yielding's Dogfish Cross is the kick off to MO's 'cross season and is a restaurant quality event; Jeff and crew go to great lengths to make sure every aspect of the races go off top notch to include seamless registration, great mix of a little everything on the race courses, prizes and swag, and endless entertainment. Now on to the racing.

Ira and I loaded up and made the three hour drive to Hermann is perfect 'cross weather/temps; everything about it just felt 'crossy. The course got some rain earlier in the day but it wasn't sloppy, just a little damp and cool.

Checked into the motel and relaxed a bit before our 8pm start for the Cat 3 race. Back to the venue to roll a couple laps and found everything was pretty tacky and fast. The course was pretty routine (which = awesome) for Hermann Park with a good mix of stuff; especially like the double sand with the low barriers on the turn -nice touch. Course was pretty tacky and nothing slick to speak of. Time flew by and before you know it I was embro'ed up with MWI's own sweet blend (available at team store) and on the line ready to go.

Got a good start and settled into second place off the asphalt and by the time we made a couple turns on the course myself and another guy had a little gap. I passed him leading to the stairs hoping not to get caught up behind a mess and it worked out pretty good as from that point on I had clean driving off the front. After 4 laps (of 8) I had established a healthy lead and settled in to maintain it and with 2 to go I was able to back off the gas some (hoping to save a little to Sunday) and cruise in for the solo win. Picked up the Source Endurance leaders jersey and hopefully would keep it tomorrow. The new carbon wheels and Challenge Grifo's were crazy hooking up and made for such a quicker ride. Everything felt pretty sharp and hopefully a good indicator for the weekend and the season.

*Pactimo has by far a super fit, comfy level, and pro feel and I know the above kit is not the latest, but I simply love the Black SS*

Here is a video circulating from the boys at Airborne; incrediblely done! There's a couple clips of me early, but after that its all of the chasers.

Sunday was nice and laid back as we didn't race until 2pm. We grabbed a little breakfast then headed over to watch the Masters and check out the course. It rained overnight and everything looked a bit slicker than the night before. Back to motel to hang out and then back to race.

Rolled a couple laps before the race and while it wasn't bad there were some slick corners to watch for. Rolled to the line wearing the Source Endurance leaders jersey (target on back) and took by light-hearted ribbing from the others.

Another solid start and led off the pavement where I promptly took out the tape on the first little sweeper (embarrasing). Regained composure (still leading) and put in some good digs to get off the front with a decent gap by the top of the stairs. From there on it was like the day before - ride smooth thru the turns, stomp a bit on straights, and really push the pavement. By the second lap I had a decent lead and maintained it until to top of the stairs with less than 2 to go. BAM, chain gets jacked up in my Pauls catcher and it's time for cool heads. Took a bit but worked it back on just as a Big Shark guy passed me; jump on his wheel and follow until last time up the stairs where I put in a good dig; got a little gap and rode it to the finish for the win.

*Above pics snagged from Jason Watkins and Dan Singer*

By winning both day I won the overall points and snagged some goodies from Tin Mill brewery (good stuff). I wanted to go well at Hermann and it worked out as I hoped. Great catching up with folks I hadn't seen in a while and as always chatting up Jeff.

Soooo, I appears I probably need to punch my Cat 2 license and get it over with. I was hoping to get to race Boss Cross as a 3, but that's not realistic after this weekend. Looks like I will race quite a bit of masters stuff this year with some Open mixed in.

Rest and recovery and get ready to do it again in STL on Wednesday at the Gateway Cross Cup...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Kicking off the 'cross season with a.... CRASH!

Well, I'm back home, tired, tired and more tired. It was a good day though with Mike and Paul on the trip down to Chicago. We kicked off the season with Chicago Cross Cup's series opener at Jackson Park.

I wasn't really sure what to expect, as I've never headed to the metropolis of Chicago for the "famed" CCC races. I've seen photos, video and heard lots of stories, but today was my first venture into the Chicago culture. To be honest, it was okay. The racing was fun, don't get me wrong, but lining up 45-50 minutes early for the 4A's was a little ridiculous. And their "strict" 10 wide starting grid was at least 20 wide.

Made for an interesting start though. I must have been somewhere around the 3rd or 4th row, avoided a gnarly crash in the chute and made some ground over the first barrier and into the big downhill swoop. Things were bottle necked here, so put in a big move....dismount and run past 15 stalled riders. Nice.

After that, it was corner, slide, corner, slide, corner. Not much for straight sections to really turn it up and open the legs before the next technical bit. Never felt maxed out, but maybe that was because I had to slow to not take multiple tree branches in the face that were masking parts of the course. I ate mud twice on lap 2 after washing out on the grease that was plentiful around the course with the all day light rain.

Finished 29th on the day, which isn't too shabby considering starting where I did in the sold out field of 100. Upward and onward to USGP next weekend!!! Stoked! Can't wait to rip it up from a solid front row start! Lets get dirty.

Jackson Park Race Report

The 30 percent chance of rain turned into 100 percent by the time the 1, 2, 3 race took off. Heenan and I lined up together in a field of about 40 people, including Scott McLaughlin, Mike Scherer, Kevin Klug, and Mike Hemme. Needless to say, I didn't see those guys again except for when the course doubled back on itself.

The course set up at Jackson was different than previous years, and a lot of fun. Lots of curves and off-camber corners. And with the rain, those corners got greasy quickly.

I slid out twice to the ground. Once, of course, when I started chatting with the the xXx guy I was riding with. Duh, Paul. Ride your damn bike!

There were, though, three downsides to the race. 1. The organizers did not trim any tree branches and ran the course through low-hanging branches. Several times I was clonked on the head with a tree limb and another time scraped across the face by branches.

2. There were very few straight lines in the race and many sections that weren't "regulation" width. So it was very hard to pass and very challenging to get any kind of rhythm going.

3. The official pulled Mike and I on the last lap when the leader was about to win. We had perhaps a minute on him but we still got pulled. I wanted to keep riding, and since Mike was getting close to catching me, he definitely wanted to keep riding. Alas, I finished one place ahead... (no matter that he spent the last 36 hours putting our bikes together and gluing wheels!)

I felt great on the technical aspects of the race: cornering, barriers. The Orbea is an amazing bike. I am definitely lacking in punch power right now, more of a consistent diesel engine.

Some WFQ (Warloski Fun Quotient) points today awarded to myself. I was a little freaked out racing against cat. 1s and local pros. Once they left me behind, though, I just rode my bike. I was pleasantly surprised to feel so good technically.

Glad first race is done. Bring on USGP next weekend in Sun Prairie!! We're racing the 35 plus event, which is just stacked with national talent. It's going to be a slug fest, and I can't wait!!

And did I mention before that I finished one place in front of Mike today? 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

No Longer Around the Corner...'s now smack dab on your doorstep! Are you ready?

Just secured my front row for this...

Took a look this morning at the Gateway Cross Cup (in STL) UCI list and looks like they'll have an all-star line up under the lights - awesome!

Going over a tentative 'cross schedule for my first 8 days of the season and it has me at JY's Dogfish Cross on Sept 17th and 18th (Hermann, MO), at Gateway Cross Cup Sept 21st (STL), and then hitting up Manion's on Sept 24th and 25th (KC, MO). Nothing like baptism by fire... Would have loved to make the trek to Madison for the USGP, but leaving it to the 'northern relatives' to take care of business. The following weekend is Boss Cross 1 & 2 (Sat and Sun in KC), but no information on this yet published.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stupidweek Day 3, 4 - Whitnall Park RR, Crit

Four races, four paydays! Well, yes, the fields have been small - we had 12 old dude racers today!

The positives are this: One, I am again starting to be able to climb hills. Both days had a short climb that hurt the legs after so many repetitions, and I never struggled except for the sprint.

Two, I've now done four races in six days. I'm tired now, but felt good during the race. I made a couple of efforts off the front today, and closed down a couple of break attempts. I did quite a bit of work today.  So I am perhaps getting some recovery finally. Two efforts in races a month ago wiped me out. Now, I'm okay.

Progress. Cross season is getting close.

The part I need to keep working on is the closing sprint speed. I haven't done any minute-long interval sessions yet that will bring me to that kind of fitness. That speed will come.

Two races left to go in Stupidweek: Kenosha and Bay View, both completely flat. I'll try to get into a better position in the last lap and try to get the W. Kenosha is always a good time. I'm not sure about the Bay View course, though. There is one very sketchy corner and some construction at one of the corners.

But the racing's been fun in that challenging, what kind of legs do you have kind of way. Whitnall Park RR was very high on the WFQ points. Even today, a cit I've done a lot before, was pretty fun.

Two more races, and we'll shut down the road racing and start preparing for cross. And that is, after all, what matters...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Stupidweek Day 2: Brookfield

I had some serious doubts about racing partially in a parking lot around the police station in Brookfield.

It turned out to be pretty fun! I raced boringly. The first five in the race, including me, did the majority of attacks and covers and work. The race came down to a field sprint. I missed a bit of top-end speed and couldn't move up for the sprint. Still finished 9th and in the money!

Next races are Monday and Tuesday at Whitnall Park. Mike and Patrick may have convinced me to race the youthful 4s at the Whitnall RR. Since it will be 91 Monday, an early morning race might be better!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

StupidWeek Race Report-Cudahy

I started the first of a few StupidWeek races today in Cudahy. It was a flat, pretty nice course by the lake. As with most StupidWeek races this year, there weren't many of us today, maybe 20-25 guys.

The racing in the masters 4/5 was pretty boring. In the first two laps, we just rolled around, so I got impatient and attacked. After a lap solo, when I realized no one was coming with me, I sat up and got back into the group. With 10 to go, I was really getting antsy and took off again. I was also solo again. The pack let me go but were letting me dangle a bit so with 5 to go, I sat up and tried to recover before the sprint.

I thought one guy was the sprinter so I sat in behind him. But by turn 3, when I was sitting 10 wheels back, I realized he was not going to sprint! So I gassed it and ended up 8th.

I am going to race boring tomorrow, follow any groups that go off the front, and wait for the sprint.

The best part of the race today is that I got PAID! First race check in four years!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

karl's jr. - winning(s)!

While my team mates have been doing some racing and more racing and blogging in famous places, I've been hitting the road training for 'cross season, and winning, or at least riding to the mailbox to collect my winning(s).

Twice during the Giro, I hit the jackpot. First, at least in reverse chronological order, was racejunkie's contest, where I placed second in the Week 3 contest, where I won a mess of stickers, but being the shrewd barterer, I traded a jar of our world famous MWI Embrocation for one of racejunkie's custom embroidered moisture wicking Walz cycling caps. The fit is great, and I can't wait to get it sweaty and dirty once the weather turns cooler.

Before that, I cashed-in during the Pave blog's Cima Coppi Contest, by correctly guessing that Stefano Garzelli would be the first to cross the Passo Giau, the Giro's highest point. For that brilliant guess, I was the lucky winner of a Laekhouse t-shirt, and appropriately enough, I picked the Fausto Coppi.

So, thanks to all my new friends at the Pave Blog, Laekhouse, the racejunkie blog, and Walz caps. I personally invite you all to come out to Kansas City, Milwaukee, or any other stop on the MWI 2011-2012 cyclocross season barnstorming tour - we'll bring the cupcakes and beer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Not Cross, But Still Fun

That felt like my first big time race back from the crash.

I entered the Tour of America’s Dairyland Thiensville race in the masters 35 plus 3/4 race. I had done a boatload of training miles, intensity, and lifting in the weeks prior to the race, so I had no sense of what my legs would do.

Last year, in my “comeback” year, I started in Thiensville in the masters 1, 2, 3 race because that’s what I used to race.

I lasted all of 7 minutes! The next day, I raced the 3s and lasted 15 minutes. I clearly was not ready to race!

Yesterday, I felt surprisingly good. I purposefully stayed at the back, avoiding the riders who don’t know how to corner.

When the announcer yelled there were 10 laps left, most of the remaining field got all wound up and tried to make their way to the front.

I didn’t plan on sprinting so I sat back. But with eight to go, my legs started twitching a little, and I started moving up the field.

My chain, which had snapped in warmup under my incredible power, had been fixed with a master link. But I was having shifting problems. 

And with five to go, though, bad luck struck. The chain fell off to the inside and then wrapped around the rear derailleur.  And there were no more free laps.

Craig, one of the officials, said I had gotten my bad luck out of the way!

But I was thrilled that I had some legs under me. Today is Grafton. If the storms hold off, I’ll race again, and this time I plan to actually race, see what’s in the tank.

Anything that’s there is going to be a welcome surprise, and I’ll be grateful!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Down & Dirty MTB - Racing Scared...

...not because of the competition, but mother nature. Let me explain:

A handful of years ago I got a pretty stiff heat injury during an adventure race in Nebraska, spent the night in a hospital, and have never fully recovered (absolutely no problem with cold temps). That's why I usually move from mtb racing to crits at the end of May for the summer as the stagnant hot air in the woods zaps me much worse than having air moving over me during crits even with temps near the 100's. After years of doing this I know my limits and this year I am pushing them trying to make it the state mtb race next weekend (will probably pay for it).

Yesterday was a hot one in the woods at the Warsaw Down and Dirty race (United Dirt Federation series) and I psyched myself out before the race even started worrying about heat injuries. I was the furthest from aggressive and I hate racing that way.

I raced the SS class and pretty much set in the lead group for the first ½ of the first lap (1 or 2) trying to not overheat. It was all going good until I got stuck behind a wreck (no big deal) and began chasing hard to catch back to the leaders. In my haste, I overcooked trying to pass someone and took a nasty fall on some rocks… leaders ride away while I bled from my leg and arm. Chased for 4 or so miles and at the end of the 1st lap I am in 2nd with the leader just ahead of me. I grab a cold bottle and notice the leader was doing the same and I get out first. Led the whole loop by quite a bit but keeping it under control as I was on the limit of overheating and a couple times I even stopped to cool off a tad dumping water over me. 1 mile to the finish and I miss a turn (unmarked and on the first lap a guy in a vehicle was there telling us where to go, but on this lap he is nowhere to be found and I caught a glimpse of an expert rider up the trail – he missed the turn also). I ride quite a ways before I turn around as it just didn’t look and feel right. I jump back on the course and see off in the distance the guy who was 3rd (now 2nd), I chase and catch him pretty quickly, catch a glimpse of the (now) leader and close in, but ran out of trail and he beats me by 20sec or so. Frustrating, but oh well 2nd was still pretty good. Asked the race director about it and was told the corner marshal left to help an injured rider. Turns out I was one of several who missed the turn. Decent event, but not a huge turnout.

Next weekend is the MO State MTB Championships in KC (Landahl Park) and I am planning to go unless the temps/humidity keep climbing. This is all play in prep for 'cross and don't want to risk re-aggravating my heat injury and missing base work in the coming months.

On a side note my riding partner took this picture of me sprinting a cow (I was simply trying to get around it) on our 83 mile Memorial Day Ride - go ahead and tee off on 'Bodunklivar Living' (I would)...

Friday, May 27, 2011

ICC MTB Race - Could Do Without the BUG

This past weekend was the Indian Camp Creek 3/6hr mtb race in STL and for some time a training buddy (Ira) had been on me to team up for a race so that's what we did.

Training/racing leading up to the race was going really well until on Thursday morning I woke with a BUG; flu was going around and it landed straight in my body (and pretty much was purging everything quickly). I was hoping it would pass, but come Saturday it was still hanging on and my partner still wanted to race... I was drained and still hurting, but what the heck.

I have raced my Rig SS so far this year and even though the course was a hammer-fest I decided to keep it single and simply try to survive. The field in the team event was stacked with the best of the best duo'ing it; not a good day to be sick.

Race starts with Ira taking the first lap and he has us in a decent position. I bury myself with what energy I could find and keep us steady as I pass it back off. Immediately I know something is wrong and start hurling everywhere. The race promoter made sure I was OK as I was quickly trying to replenish what I just lost. Ira comes through and I take my turn, but it's game OFF as I have nothing in my legs. We kept it going (Ira 4 laps and I 3) until they called the event at 5:30hrs due to lightening (thank goodness). Rough day as we finished 6th of 7 teams. Wouldn't have even thought about racing it if I was going solo, but when you're a team its step up time.

Got a couple weeks to regroup in hopes to ride well at the Missouri State MTB Champs in KC (hoping to see Sir Crust-A-Lot).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tour De Tick (make that Ick)

Yesterday (Sunday) was the Midwest Fat Tire series Tour De Tick race in Neosho, MO. I raced this as a sport rider two years ago in a downpour of rain with made the course a bit of a swamp and with the forecast all week calling for rain on Sunday I figured it would be the same for '11.

Ira (my Bolivar training partner) and I loaded up the SS's and drove the 1:45hr (close for us) to the event and sure enough it was raining on the way and the temps never got out of the lower 50's (chilly dampness). The turnout was a bit low which is interesting as why do mtb'ers skip on nasty weather, it's a mountain bike after all and isn't it supposed to get nasty and dirty!?!?!? Must be the 'cross part of me speaking out here. Anyways, the course was a 6.8 mile loop with a mix of rocky, rooty, flowy, climbing, fire roads, and slippery corners (about everything you expect). SS class did three laps and on this wet and chilly day that was just about enough.

Race got going and Ira and I set off on a solid pace and gaped everyone else. Somewhere early on he decided to endo his bike without letting me know first so when I turned around 1/2 way through the opener lap he was gone. I set out then to see how many experts (Cat 1's) I could pull in over the next couple laps. That didn't end up being too long as I caught and passed the Cat 1 leaders 1/2 thru the second lap. The rain kept coming down making the course a mudfest so I shut down the last lap a bit and made sure to keep upright with no mistakes. Mission accomplished and ended up snagging my third SS win of the year with Ira taking a solid 2nd.

Another great venue for the 29'er SS as mud and bad conditions are not an issue when you aren't shifting. Talked with teammate GLove's wife after the race and we both decided it was a great 'cross muddy course training.

Legs and fitness are solid right now even though I haven't started a serious regime of intensity; that is starting this month as June and July has a nice set of crits for which I want to prime (Tusla Tough, Tour of KC, and Tour of Lawrence).

Not sure how much racing I'll do this month as the gas prices and lack of driving partners is making me a bit more selective (notice a race 1:45 hrs is considered a 'local' close one).

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hitting The MTB Until the REAL Season

What's a guy supposed to do during the 8 month off season... This year I decided to turn my spring attention to mountain biking and try sharpening the bike driving skills when I can and use it to build some base miles. After the new year I bought a 29'er Trek Rig single speed (with option of adding gears); both the 29'er and SS concepts were new to me, but thought they sounded fun. I had no idea how true both would be!
The handling of the G2 setup is not much off of riding a 26; it's pretty darn quick in the tight stuff and I don't feel like I am 'lugging' it around corners. The biggest thing is how freaking easy the 29er rolls over rough stuff and smooths it all out (I don't miss my Fuel full suspension at all). I have the 'bull in a china shop' riding style and the 29er now lets me get away with much more without punishment.
The SS part of it a blast and that's mostly due to the fact that the midwest has no 'long' climbing and mostly short punchy stuff which is perfect for SS. I have a couple different cogs I toy with but so far I am a 32/18 kind of guy. My 'spin' has become way better and my power up climbs has always been one of my strengths so the combination is working.
So on to racing: A couple weeks ago I entered my first '11 race at a local event (Warsaw Pain and Glory) on a super short course (13 miles at most). The field was not stacked so I took advantage of getting off the line first, hit the single track in front, and never saw anyone for the rest of the race. I ended up winning the overall by 8 or 9+ minutes. I felt really good and decently smooth, but was never pushed enought to get a real feel of my fitness. BTW - I'm a big fan of our 'lime' kits, but when it comes to mtb'ing I have to go with the black (it's my fav!).
This past weekend was the Bone Bender 3/6hr race at Clinton Lake State Park outside of Lawrence, KS. While I do ride consistantly I don't have many LONG miles in my legs so opted for the 3hr SS. 9.3 ish mile loop which featured everything u would want on a course; technical, open flowy, tight... it was all there. I regulated my efforts according to my abilities and came away with the win in the SS class doing 4 laps in 3:43hrs and placing 9th fastest overall. I was pretty happy with my consistancy as I rode 55, 55, 56, and 56min for the laps and never felt outside my comfort level. Chris Locke and crew did a great job with this event; I'll be back next year for sure.
Got a handful of mtb'ing races over the next couple of months before I turn my attention to crit racing and sharpening the speed before the 'turning of the leaves'. Hope eveyone is getting out there and enjoying the spring; later...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hot Stuff!

Well, here it is:

The official My Wife Inc. Dia de Los Jackalope Embrocation, custom blended by Mad Alchemy. A big thanks to Pete Smith with Mad Alchemy for his patience with versions of the blend and for making it so easy.

You can get yours here, but use with caution - it's hot enough to turn a pink jackalope RED.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

shiny new things for a new season

Every season brings new things. Spring brings a good cleaning, plants greening up, rains to wash the road salt away, and for me, shiny new things for my bikes. As you can see from the first picture, this spring brought changes for the Blue - new life as a single speed with new wheels from Corsa Concepts, our new wheel building friends from the pacific northwest, and new chain, chain ring, cables and bar tape.

Greg Hudson did a super job on a custom set of Corsa 1.2ACR's with a White Industries ENO eccentric hub and freewheel out back. I can't wait to get these really dirty. Expect a non-race review soon.

The road bike got some new stuff too - a new chain, new cables all around, and new bar tape. It's amazing what slick new cables will do for your shifting. If only there was something as dramatic and easy to get me back in to riding shape.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Coming Soon!

Something HOT!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

crossing out 2010

The only thing better than a day off from work is a day off from work with a cyclocross race. I made the short trek to Stump Park in Shawnee yesterday, for the last race of 2010, and the first one with my recently renewed 2011 license.

The course was pretty much non-technical, but included a pretty long run-up - probably 60 or 70 yards up the side of a steep hill at the east edge of the park - and one set of barriers that you could hit at a pretty good clip. The only other notable feature was the descent after the run-up which include a tricky off-camber turn.

The weather was the story of the day, however. When I left the house, it was 48 degrees and sunny, but dropped to a cloudy 36 degrees in the fifteen minutes it took me to get to the park. Thursday night, brought just less than a half inch of rain and freezing rain, then the 20 to 25 mph winds dried most of the course out, but left a few soft spots, and a little mud in one or two places. I am proud to say "Karl didn't fall down". The Fango's at 25psi did a great job - never felt slipery or sketchy in the mud or corners.

We were all shivering in the cold wind during staging, but warmed up quickly with the effort and in the sun, which peeked out from behind the clouds about midway through the race. I didn't get clipped in well, and got off poorly, but made up a few places throughout the race, especially on the run-up, and finished pretty much as expected, in the bottom half, but not DFL for once.

Thanks to Roger Harrison for the above picture. He's a great supporter of the KC cycling scene, and always has a lot of good race pictures, including one or two of a pretty good crash about 10 yards after the start line in the Master's 30+ class that took of just before my Master's 40+ group.

Just two more races are on the local CX calendar to close out the season, including one tomorrow at one of my favorite venues up the road in Parkville, MO.