Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A picture is worth a thousands words huh. Well not if the camera is in my hands, then it is going to take a thousand words for you to figure out what you are looking at.
The Start of the 3/4 Race. Young Graham Aldredge powering my Goldy from last year. I told him earlier in the week, "this bike only goes off the front." He made good destroying the strong field on the won speed.

This was a cool Lockian addition to the course. Two quick down and ups across a small ridge that felt neat once you got in the rhythm. The other Lockian addition was subtracted by the people that can do such things. There was set to be a ramp boosting you over a barrier if you choose to shoot off. Even though it was painfully simple someone would have got brilliant and wrecked their eyeballs out. It was set to be a classic, oh well.The rest of the 3/4 field rolling by. There is a High Gear factory team rider in there. Garret Seacat was on his way to upsetting the pack from his back row starting position until a flat tire saved the lives of all those he was about to pass. But apparently their sponsor is throwing down for new DuraAce Tubeless wheels and Hutchinson tires (Bulldog up front-Piranha in the back) for the whole team to guarantee their name appears in lights when the Ace Squad makes it to the start line.

More awesome camera work. Josh Taylor of our 360 team got the hole shot.
Josh Talyor in a nice silhouette shot. I will take $350.00 for it
Graham leaving no doubt on the last lap.
Cross racing makes my body feel old. Things always hurt way more than I think they should. I ride all the time, hard alot, and I have been doing that for a long time. One hour of head banging racing and I am moaning and groaning for days.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cross #0-2

So far this season is not off to a flying start. Today was yet a new set of problems and frustrations. I felt great again warming up, and with the temps rising I knew that attrition was going to be the name of the game. I went ahead and bolted on a water bottle cage so I could carry some fluids for the hour long effort. The course was really fun. I was enjoying rolling laps even at a moderate pace. We lined up with Shadd relegated to the back for preriding the course during a race. I am not sure why he was the one picked out since everyone was, but hating on the fastest guy is a common theme in our world. He gave a friendly "sure" to the official and bolted through everyone about 20 yards into the race. I was not really to excited at the start just hoping to roll away and make a move up into the money spots 15 minutes in or so. Unfortunately that would not be the case, in the first minute of the race Tom Price's front wheel lost traction and he slid out and into me. I hit the ground pretty dang hard, cracked my der. hanger and bent my rear wheel. I tossed my bike Trebon style to make me feel a little better, and then attempted to bend things straight enough to ride. I made it eventually around to the pits with my bike unrideable and all in a huff and asked if I could have anyone's bike. Rich Anderson of Cow Town Cycling, was very kind and handed me up his singlespeed and I took off. I was happy to be riding and would have gladly ridden the whole race on that bike but Rich handed me up his A bike, a sweet Ridley Carbon rig that rode amazingly well. Shouldering a 16 lb bike is alot easier than a 20 lb one. Looking back on it that is so kind of him to let me ride his bikes, even more so because his race was the next one after mine. I think it shows why there was over 200 hundred racers out today, it is a great scene with great people. I rode well, I could tell by watching where I was meeting the leaders around the course that I would have been very competitive. I caught four people and was happy to get in the hour workout. No dice this week.

If anyone out there is headed to Omaha on Sunday only contact me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cross #1

With cyclocross season starting a month earlier this year than last I really have not had the build up of excitement that I had last season waiting for the first race to roll around. I have been enjoying Yeti spotting, learning to ride a fixed gear and throwing in a little bit of work at Swope Park. Luckily I woke up early Saturday morning because I went to the shop and put on a new drivetrain at 5:00 AM. I hate to say it because I wanted to love SRAM's road groups but the Shimano chains and cassettes work loads better. After a few hours digging around in the dirt at Swope, Amber and I came home real quick so I could grab my gear and head East to Mike Gaherty's house where I was going to hop in his big rig pickup for the drive to Herman, MO. Herman is a quaint little village right along the Katy trail that is all Wineries and B&B's. It began to sink in as we pulled up to the venue and I caught I glimpse of the epic stair run up that I should have prepared more for this. As I was riding my pre-laps I realized that this could get ugly and I needed to let it rip and see what happens. I received a call up but that still had me on the third row of an 8 wide field that was going to be cramming into a narrow chicane just seconds into the race. When the race started I tried to be as aggressive as possible and I got through the tight stuff in decent shape but it was still disheartening to see the leaders 30 seconds ahead before I got where I could chase. The legs were certainly there, I was passing people and moving up solidly, although I knew it was not a good sign that I was reduced to walking the stairs on the initial lap. That aside I continued to move up and worked my way into 5th place and it seemed like a couple laps in a row I was reeling in Bill Stolte who was in 4th. With 6 laps to go I went into the sand section pretty hot and stumbled and pulled my groin pretty fiercely. I knew immediately it was not good but went on a bit more until I fell out of the money places. I pulled over and watched the rest of the race from the sidelines getting some good motivation to start training hard and have a solid cross season. Even though it went crappy I had a fun time and was happy I went. December cross national is a ways away but it is time to start laying it down to have a good showing in front of the hometown folks.

Sunday in Lenexa, be there.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wet n Wild

I complain a lot about rain, too much as a matter of fact. I don't need to spend time moaning about something I have no control over. This week afforded plenty of time to think on such matters while it poured epic amounts from the sky. Wednesday morning was the first day I rode after the 12 hour race, and all I did was pedal down the paved trail 20 minutes or so to this little spot in the woods where there are a handful of dirt jumps to exercise my Yeti 575. Even though the trails are micro and I am about as good of a dirt jumper as Keanu Reeves is an actor, I left amazed how simple it is, Dirt + Bike=Much Fun. Thursday I had a horrible ride on my road bike where I nearly wrecked in the wet numerous times, was swooped by a couple of cars, and was just generally on pins and needles the whole time. Road biking is all fine and what not but basically the whole crux of that is going insanely fast, when you are just out podonking around you might as well be on treadmill. Friday morning brought torrential rains, true downpour, flash flood warnings and all. I sat on the couch contemplating how I can get out of our lease and move back to the southwest. Then I just got mad at myself for being such a baby and a complainer. I love Kansas City, I choose to live here and rain is part of the gig. I grabbed the fixed gear and rain jacket and headed out. I do not really know what route I rode, I just rode around. Sometimes I could not tell if I was headed up a sidewalk or a drainage ditch, I am not joking. Pedestrian bridges were being covered in rushing water, cars were sliding around, and my bike was spectacularly cleaned. I was not out long, maybe a hour and half but it was like being baptised. There has always been some element within me that wants to be in defiance of something, and when I am out there in the downpour riding along I don't know what I am defying, but I know it is something, and I know I am winning. Saturday morning was the exact same story, rain pounding and the forecast did not show it letting up. Straight onto the bike and into the wet. I figured out on Friday that if it is not cold outside rain jackets are completely stupid. Does it really matter if my arms and chest are not wet? Of course I can understand avoiding hypothermia if it is cold, but besides that leave that nasty piece of something plastic at home, use it to cover a wood pile or something of the sorts. Saturday during one of the particular fierce sessions of rain a car at a stop light rolled down his window and asked if I was training for something? I think he was hoping for The Tour de France, or the Olympics. "The Apocalypse," I smiled back to him. He looked uncomfortable and rolled up his window before I could hand him a pamphlet. Sunday was my first day off work that I was not running around crazy in a long time. My good friend Jim Cummins and I hooked up for a solid knobby tire urban ride. I was on my bike over 5 hours by the time I rolled back in to the drive way. Alright I am a mountain biker, I cannot always ride trails, but I can stop complaining and always make the best of it. I am going to try real hard at this. I remember reading a story in some cycling publication a long time ago that ended with, "Never give up, Never accept the ordinary." That is something to burn into your brain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sac River 12 hour

Team 360 Fixie rendezvoused at Church's Chicken (just a descent away from the future Swope Trail mega system) to pile into Jason's car for the trip down to Springfield. We arrived at the course a short few hours later and found a prime camping spot complete with gazebo, picnic table, and monster shade tree. It began to rain as a friend of Craig's showed up who was going solo and we got to add his pop up tent to our arsenal of weather combating devices. The turnout was not looking spectacular as it neared high noon. I had been designated first lap man but was not really thinking a warm up was appropriate given the field size and drizzle that was coming down. The rain stopped as we gathered for the pre-race meeting. The organizer asked if we wanted to make it a 6 hour due to rain, it did me well to hear the resounding NO from the racers. The first lap got under way and I cruised in behind a duo racer who took the lead and I took a few miles to acquaint myself with the trail conditions and get in the grove of the fixed gear. I went around him when I sensed we were at the bottom of a substantial climb. Another climb later you were at the top of the trail system and began winding through some quite rocky terrain back down the hill. It was proper trail racing the whole lap and made for incredibly engaging fixed gear racing. My second lap it began to rain again and the course was starting to get pretty slick, luckily rolling resistance was not effected much and it was pure fun slipping and sliding around.

Jason took the next set of laps and had the first of two unfortunate tire roll offs but all in all rode two solid laps. Craig, armed with his new battle rig, stormed the trail and sent me back onto the course with a solid lead. My next two laps were amazingly fun, it was just all smiles and good times. Racing the fixed gear is a blast, one second you will ride something incredibly smooth and fast and feel like a million bucks, next thing you know you rookie some corner and feel like a total Freddy. I kept repeating the mantra of Mad-Eye Moody from Harry Potter, "Constant Vigilance." I got the goods being the first racer. My third set of laps was still in the light, although the last two miles was fairly dark it was not bonafide night laps. Jason and Craig did their last sets in the dark and then we did one lap a piece at the end so we stayed all even. My night lap was unfortunately lack luster. I felt great but just was struggling to get in a groove where I was really rocking. We finished with 21 laps, several laps ahead of second place I believe. We received a nice little check to help cover the day and reloaded into the car and hit the trail home at about 1:00. Jason continued the pace home and dropped me off sometime around 3:30 I think. Yet another awesome race and I look forward to many more team events with the Woodchucks. Add Scott into the mix and you got a 24 hour wrecking crew that will be primed for destroying the dreams of lesser teams in 2009.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

blood guts and gore veins in my teeth end quote

I get mean nasty and terrible when the trails are not rideable. After a weekend of trail shredage you would think I would get topped off a bit and could endure a few days of bike path riding. Not so. I want dirt I need dirt.

Jason Gaikowski, Craig Stoeltzing and myself are headed to Springfield, MO for the Sac River 12 hour this coming weekend. You know what I want, a mud bath knock down drag out bloody brawl. I am in the mood for a sufferfest and am truely hoping the weather delivers.

"You're our boy"


Monday, September 1, 2008


Cruise the Blues is in the books for 2008. The turnout was on par, and the weather was cooperative, thankfully because after the flooding in the creek just a week before the trail was in no mood for rain. Apparently a small militia of volunteers had been out for several days before the race rebuilding bridges, rerouting sections that had been lost, and trying to get things in race shape. My dad and I pre-rode a lap to check it out and it did not have the normal feel that you are riding with an electric assist engine strapped aboard. It more felt like if you stopped pedaling you would be at a stand still in three feet. But we all could tell a few thousand tires over it and it would get fast again. They herded us into start pins in our seperate classes so we could tell who we were actually racing against . I kept a leary eye over my shoulder for Doug's farm hand Kip to start prodding folks with one of those electric zapper things that I imagine he is fond of using. We were off, as I tried to lift the pace a few miles into the race I found the opposite happening. I was slowing down and feeling poor, I could not get any oxygen into the lungs and was wheezing and feeling dizzy. I made due as best as I could and finally got around to my Dad. He went out and did a solid first lap and I sat in the shade and started to feel better. When he came around I had cleared out the pipes and was ready to redeem myself. My second lap was better, and we started to distance ourselves ahead. After my third lap it was evident no other racers would be following us out on a 6th lap, so my Dad got to chill and ride a fun lap with the trail getting the conveyer belt feel going on that makes it so addicting.

Post race chilling was a good time of catching up with the central Kansas crowd and watching the FOUR kids races! You cannot believe how many kids there were. After the award ceremony Amber and I had to hit the road. I was working Sunday and I didn't want to drive until 3:00 in the morning. Leaving the Blue Hills south bound to the interstate the sun was setting and the surreal colors of sunset were flooding the valleys. There was no more beautiful place on earth. If I could bottle up what I was feeling I would be a millionaire. It would be called Ahhhh.