Monday, June 30, 2008

Baldwin City RR

Another day, another chance to hammer on my S-Works Tarmac. I think 15 guys took off in the 1,2 race on Sunday in quaint Baldwin City. The first lap of the 70 mile race Brian Jenson pinned it into the wind, riding right next to the yellow line I was tempted to cross over and hop in the draft, but I followed the rules and got spit out the back to start a long day of chasing. Our chase group whittled from 8 to 5 to 4 to 3. We kept Brian and Shadd and company insight for a few laps but their was not a prayer of pulling it back. I punished myself into the wind and was fairly happy I made it to the line with energy enough to unclip. I believe I was 7th but I am not sure. It was a fun day of riding bikes.

Tuesday Crits
Friday Fireworks
Saturday Tour starts
Sunday MTB race
Good Independence celebration week

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

round and round

A colorful crew was out on the streets for Tuesday nights round and round. A solid chunk of the Trek team was in attendance and Omaha MTB legend Kent McNeil. I had sore legs after Sunday's race but was happy how they were losening up on the ride over. I sat in a long time, even drifting to the back for awhile. Right now I have trouble just parking it in the top 1/3, I am either moving up or back. I cannot remember all the events but I do recall a break forming and chasing across the gap unable to close the door and looking for some help only to find Jay and other Trekies on the front working nicely for their man up the road. After a flurry of attacks I shot off and pulled Brad Sullivan, Scooter, Kent, and Jay with me. We opened a quick gap and I thought we might have the horsepower to run with it, we could not get comfortable and in a flow but we still stayed away for a handul of laps. A few laps after getting caught Kent powered away and I jumed hard onto his wheel, teammate Stephen Songer was on mine. I had a good feeling that we could make something interesting happen. As we came up the rise a semi was pulling out crepping along and we had to shut it down.(the second time it happened in the race) In the end it was a feild sprint I am not sure who won, I was back a good bit. That is some fun

Monday, June 23, 2008

good goodness

The final XC race of the heartland series proved to be a classic Landahl event. Scott and Craig beat the elements with an amazing amount of trail work leading up to the race, rock armoring mud holes and bench cutting for better drainage, so we could all fly over it without a moments hesitation.

The expert field was nice sized with allot of STL speedsters making the trip. We had a 5-8 man singletrack train snaking around the course. Everyone took a go at the front, but not until the 3rd lap did anyone send waves. I was suffering through when Mesa Cycles David Breslin put on a turn of speed that only held Shadd Smith (missed his flight to Austin for US crit series, so he regrouped to come push dirt) with him. I drank and began to get my whits about me and moved up into 5th on the descent. The beginning of the 4th lap Aaron Elwell and I got in a grove and started picking people off. I was in 2nd with Aaron right on my wheel for the final plunge down Tasty Goodness. I began to catch glimpses of David in the trail but could not make up the gap. Aaron out sprinted me in the end. He finished 10 seconds down, I was 20 seconds, Chris Ploch, was just another short shake behind me. It is starting to get like WORS here, this is pretty cool. Everyone plan on coming out for the Midwest fat tire series race at Smithville in two weeks, hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

common theme

Cruiser riding with Amber and Crit racing with the 360 men.
Over the weekend Amber and I had a few awesome rides and explored some new areas of KC for us, and I hammered out some nice training rides with thoughts of fall and barriers in my head. It did not leave much in the tank for Tuesday night. I knew I was tired but hoped to have a little more pop in me. A couple of days of chilling and I should be going well this weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


And you know what that means. I was selling a couple two Cruisers and explaining to them the joys of riding at 3 MPH when I realized young Graham was all geared up and ready to head to the crits. The couple settled on the same style townie as I have and I sprinted into my gear. No need to hurry though because we had a huge tailwind blowing us all the way to 95th and Lackman. Graham and I kept the same line of cars behind us for nearly 2 miles because we were going the speed limit.

A few laps in the pace started revving up, I was not in the mood to work real hard so I stayed a few wheels back, but Shadd was marking things closely having only one other teammate with him, so I stayed in the vicinity. The break took a while to sort itself out, for several laps I would look around and it was a whole new cast of characters every time, no one was committing hard until Joe S. put on a nice blitz that shattered the front. Shadd, Walt, and I got a small gap that we went to work on. From there on it was pure suffering. Walt pulled up the hill, Shadd down the hill, and I pulled through the wind on the backside. With 10 minutes to go Walt cracked. I had no more too offer so Shadd was pulling nearly the whole loop. On the last lap I did not even raise the pace when Shadd accelerated. I just stayed steady so that I could hold off the group who was coming hard. I wanted to throw up at the end.

Check out my new bike at Tom's blog.

Last night I watched Hincapie hold of the peloton at the Dauphine to score a stage win. Brilliant riding. Every racer need to help charge up tired legs. Subscribe today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

weekend report

It is disappointing that I finally get to race at my favorite trail in the area and I cramp so badly I don't finish. Landahl was dried up plenty enough for a good race. I moved into the lead after the first lap, I thought I was feeling fine and motoring right along. The start of the third lap I got the twinge inside of my quad, I soft pedaled and drank, but when i tried to get back going my left hamstring and right quad locked up and I spent minutes along the trail in pretty awful pain. I am not sure if I was not recovered from DK or just what was wrong, but it is disappointing. Well done Steve Jarrett on another solid performance.

Amber and I took our new Electra cruisers and went to her grandparents house in Manhattan, KS for a fun little get away. We meet Amber's mom who had brought Amber's old cruiser from Great Bend and joined us for some sightseeing. We rode around the campus on Sunday, and circled town on Monday morning on the bike path. It was a ton of fun, Cruiser riding is less painful.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

DK Victory

It is always good to get a win. Even though Dirty Kanza is a regional race it is starting to get a big time reputation, and rightfully so. This race has become one of the Classics, the final event of spring, and a unique mega-loop with more hills and crappy roads than you could dream up.

Threatening hail storms nearly had the race start postponed, but we rolled out at 6:00 sharp thinking we were really in for it. Amazingly enough we skirted the storms and had just the lightest bit of rain. At mile 50 a 5 man group had formed-Matt Brown, Matt Gersib, Cornbread Cory, Dan Hughes, and myself. We had averaged 18.5 mph over the first 1/4. Matt G unfortunately fell off the pace not long after leaving checkpoint one. We were all still working together. Dan and Cory were pulling on the flats, I kept the pace high on the climbs. We hit the monster climb of Texaco Hill, several miles of sustained climbing with a few really steep pitches. I ticked it out and pulled away from the others but was not ready to commit to a 125 mile solo effort. Dan, Cory, and I continued to drive the pace. Props to cornbread for some impressive riding, that drink of water has been doing some training. We got into some poppy rollers that I felt great in. Dan fell off, and it looked like a good opportunity to work with Cory and put some distance between the freight train and ourselves. Dan Hughes can flat get it on on some dirt roads, I did not want to get tired with him anywhere near. I told Cory he could sit in as long as he wanted, I was willing to pay for company, but it wasn't 2 miles and he had came around me and was pedaling for it. We were in a really good position at that point. 10 miles from the 100 checkpoint, 2 guys both riding strong, with the easier to draft sections ahead. Pssssss. Cory flats (the first of 9 for him) My stomach sank, but I wished him luck and continued on. I thought of Jens Voight this week in the Giro attacking with 35 Km left and his Director saying "Opp, that's a bit to soon." I cruised into the half way checkpoint feeling fairly good but my feet were in serious pain. I shook the rocks out and tried to massage a little life in them. But the facts are that my 2 year old Sidi's are just done for. My feet were my biggest problem the rest of the day.

Dan arrived a few minutes after. I took my time at the stop knowing we had a long day ahead. Dan and I left together. I was thinking we could work together because we were on record setting pace and could keep the heat on working a bit. But I quickly saw our pace was just so different that it did not really work. I am in and out of the saddle- exhilarate, spin, exhilarate, spin. Dan is just a rock, he just sits there and turns em over. I pulled away and realized it was time to dig in. The next 50 miles was my hardest although I never felt terrible I teetered on it. The pavement section that I thought would be good recovery seemed to take more energy and the climb leaving Elmdale is painful. Luckily Joel made us feel Euro and wrote our names on the climb with some encouragement, that stocked me up. I rolled straight into Casey's Convenience store and straight to the cold drinks. I finished off a water and a Gatorade before I made it to the counter, I also wolfed down a Hershey bar and filled my pockets with pretzels for the final leg. I kept my pit stop quick and wanted to get riding ASAP.

Oh Yeah the legs are there. Long long climbing section to start the last 50. The little tailwind helped out, the realization I could shatter the old course record helped out. I was bombing every little descent and sprinting up the climbs. I made it to the Kahola Lake in no time, there is 2 long steep climbs at about mile 170 and 175 leaving the lake. Last year they nearly ended me and a suffered horribly to the finish line. This year I wanted to rock the last 20 so I played it conservative spinning up the climbs and eating and drinking plenty on the descent. Time to put my head down and bury it. I was still feeling good although my feet were screaming, that is something you can deal with. The only hiccup was a mile section that offroaders had churned into a rutted out mess after the last rain. You simply could not ride fast and just had to stay up right and pick the best line. I did not know exactly were Emporia was but knew I was closing in on the finish and sub 12 hours was possible, I tried focus. It was close but I made it and broke the tape at 11:58.32.

Great job by the Heartland Crew putting on such and event. Jim Cummins (who had an amazing ride to finish 4th)and Joel Dyke are the men with the vision, thank you guys for all your work. Local Punk rock legend Tim Mohn finished 3rd besting his time last year by 45 minutes. The freight train Dan Hughes bested his time by nearly an hour rolling in a solid 2nd. Great Job everyone. All the participants add so much value to this race and every ones hard work creates something really cool.