Monday, October 27, 2008

swing hard in case you make contact

Wow that was some weekend of racing, I am not sure where to begin. When you look at the area cyclocross schedule there is a ton of racing going on here, a lot of people are putting time and money into letting us all go out and have fun. Paceline Products is a sponsor of everything that happens in the area cycling related. If you value racing every weekend as much as I do patronize these guys so we can keep this train rolling. Obviously all the promoters of the area are busting their butts, let's not let them down on our end.

Saturday was a fun race for sure. Josh Johnson came over from the other side of Missouri and threw down hard on us all. A couple of laps in I heard him say, "Did I give Shadd enough of a lead?" Well I considered Shadd in a different time zone at that point, but Josh put on a show and tracked him down for the win. I was a distant third but still fairly happy with my effort.

Sunday was the same course with a few small tweaks, and the wind was raging up of off the lake. The run up from the video in the post below was changed up so that you approached it from the other side. I rolled up it easily the day before and even though the angle was not as nice I thought I could do the same thing again. MAJOR DISASTER pre-riding! I nosed into the hill and snapped my frame along the top tube and down tube. It was totally my stupidity that caused it, and I am completely sick about losing my bike. I have had it for right at a year, and it has treated my real well. I think a little Dirty Kanza soul leaked out onto the ground where I broke it. I had my 29er SS in the pits and I was just planning on racing that and getting in a workout and having some fun. But along came that Ridley Carbon machine. Rich Anderson, hands down my favorite person in the world, let me once again race his amazing bike. I denied at first thinking about what just happened and how I could not possibly afford to repeat some type of incident on that bike. But I could not resist for long. I set the seat height and did a few laps, it made me smile wide. I cannot express how grateful I am Rich.

I don't suck as bad at starting when my bike is that light. I was in a much better position than usuall into the dirt. Bill Marshal and I traded pulls on the first two laps and kept Shadd somewhat in check. After Bill surged on the pavement I punched it again and made up alot of ground. I caught Shadd on the third lap. After sitting in a half of a lap I went around but did not surge just tried to ride fast and steady. Very very slowly I opened up a second here and there and began to build a lead. Never ever did I have what I would call a comfortable lead but I went into the bell lap fairly certain I could hang on. I was very excited that I scored the fastest bell lap prime. My two days of racing could have been a Ridley advertisement. That bike corners amazing, climbs amazing, so much fun. Unfortunately I have a new bike to buy and I don't think I will be happy with much. I would race bikes even if I was getting spanked all over the place all the time, it is just such a good feeling to go out and leave it all on the course. But combine that with winning, that is enough to make you nearly crazy.

It was sweet that my parents were in town and got to come out to the race. It is a good youthful feeling to have them hollering out from the sidelines. We all visited one of our team 360 sponsors last night for supper. Tapas at La Bodega was the perfect ending to the day.

And the best news of all, It is vacation time. Me and 5 other ramblers are taking knobby tires down into the hills of Arkansas for 5 days of riding riding riding. Wednesday through Sunday of epic rides. I have not had a good ole MTB vacation forever. I am so happy I can't hardly believe
it. When I return I will be equipped with pictures and stories.

Here are my pictures from Sunday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

All my rowdy friends are here on Saturday Morning

I had a good time.

See ya'll again tomorrow

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bully Cross

The race report for me looks exactly like Saturday's. I moved into third and got a gap but I could not hold on as Bill Stolte pounded me down. The weekend was a great fitness builder and I just need about ten minutes more and I will be racing real well.Jenson strings us out early in the start of Sunday's Boulevard Cup race held at the sight of last years nationals. The weather was better than last time I visited.
Jenson, Stolte, Joe, Chris Wallace and Shadd at the first barrier section

Tom and I hit the barriers and avoid each other. Stolte tracking me down. I thought I was going to hang on for a minute. Stolte says No.Jenson was attacking hard and early, but Joe is the man of the day and he is only eighteen. Awesome.
Joe went off the front later in the race and did not look back. Well put young man.
Hitting the barriers and a nice reasonable pace to keep my groin muscles intact. Notice NRC points Champion Kelly Benjamin cheering us on in the back ground. Always good to have the fastest female road racer in the country out drinking beers and cheering.

Easy does it

Shadd Shriner moving out through the tall barriers. Shadd persevered for solid races Saturday and Sunday.
Early in the race Jenson is leading the charge

This was a fun U-turn that went into a ripping little piece of ditch trail. You could feel your tires breaking free and sliding downhill. Volker Cycles store owner Britton Cusiak attacked here in the 3/4 race but the only one to pay was him slamming the ground, as we were laughing about it after the race all he had to say was, "That hurt."
A couple of corners later and the pain would stop. Immediately I think that was fun, I can't wait till next week. That is just messed up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Capital Cross

Day one of my first two-fer weekend of the year. With the way things have been going the last few weeks of racing I have to admit I was not to excited this week about the race today. I thought about bailing and trail working out at Swope instead but my racer boy attitude kicked in yesterday and I started getting stoked.

Amber's parents were in town celebrating her birthday with us. We did what I do best and ate BBQ last night. Then we went and did some sight seeing around KC. Here they are this morning before we all headed to the race.
The day could not have been more wonderful. Blue skies and perfect temperature were sure to translate into spirited racing. The course was long and hard due to the soft ground that sapped your strength, and the "mound of mercy" kicked you while you were down. Here Aaron Elwell tops out on the mound.
My racing has been the same all my life, it does not matter what kind of race I start horribly slow. Go like an go like an All American for the middle portion of the event, and finish with a nice cool down at the end, actually I am going insanely hard it just looks like a nice cool down to all those spectating. This biological phenomena did lend itself to some success in 24 hour racing because that middle portion was fairly substantial. On par for course I believe I was the last person to hit the first barrier today and did not start moving up until well into the lap. Luckily there was lots of passing room and the field was not to big. It took a few laps but I made it up to the leaders except for Brian Jenson dangling off the front. My bike is suffering from a long list of ailments with 10 speed topping it off, but without going into to much of detail I was reduced to a very select few gears that were not always conducive to rapid progress. I was charging trying to reel in Jenson. Bill Stolte was on my wheel and we had pulled in Joe Schmaltz who was now holding strong on the back. With three to go Bill and I traded attacks, I caught a bit of fresh legs and surged away and in the process made the most cut into Jenson since the start line. Had the race ended on the bell lap I would have took second by about ten seconds, but alas the dreaded last lap when everyone but me all of a sudden seems to come to life. I was pushing for all I had but it wasn't enough as Joe blew past me like I was a lapped rider, and soon enough Bill followed. Well at least I rode the money train out for fourth place and final pay out position. Good enough for a Qudoba Burrito and a Good time.
Me followed by Bill followed by Joe followed by I pop like the fourth of July

Monday, October 13, 2008

Burning in the Bluff

What a sweet weekend. I have been looking forward to this for a long time and am not disappointed at all on Monday morning. Craig Stoeltzing, Myself, and Graham Aldredge were the posse that headed over to Council Bluffs Lake for the Burning in the Bluffs 12 hour race. We had a full load in Craig's Honda wagon. But it went like a champ the whole trip. We arrived early morning on Saturday and crawled into the tent at 12:30 or so. Perfect camping weather was lending itself to some top notch sleep until the craziest music you ever heard came on over the loud speakers at 7:00. We decided later it was some kind of Jazz, Folk, Mexican Circus music hybrid that I would have thought was in my dreams if the others would not have confirmed it to be real. We pulled ourselves together and went and stood in line to get marked and pick up our timing chips. It was at this point I caught my first ever real life glimpse of the 2009 S-Works Epic, sick sick sick. This will be my 09 race bike.

I had first lap duties and I was feeling pretty good about it. It was going to be a short dash to the bikes and then we were on and rocketing downhill. Craig caught this sweet picture of me emerging from the smoke bomb someone had lit in the middle of the bikes. I love these races.
The first lap was going well. I moved from 5th into the singletrack up to the leader and we were putting massive time on everyone. I was climbing strong and waiting for the last mile long climb to attack up to the first transition. Between mile 8 and 9 disaster struck when I sliced my tire on a rock. The copious amounts of Stans wouldn't seal it, my CO2 dispenser was squirting air everywhere but into my tube. Finally a passing racer lent me his and I got rolling again. I was pretty bummed when I came in. Graham and Craig both pulled their weight with solid laps.

I was ready to throw down on my second lap. I had traded in my 29er for the Epic we had brought along as a back up bike. I crushed for about 11 miles and then I imploded. I crept in the final miles resigned that I was not going to bring us back and to enjoy riding the rest of the day. From there on out it was all fun with all of the team turning solid laps and basking in the beautiful weather. My third lap was fine, not fast but I had a great time and at least kept everything moving at a reasonable pace. The race for 1st place was intense with the top two teams so close lap after lap. I was trying not to think about how much fun it would have been to be mixing it up in that. All of us had Super Duper night laps. I simply could not have enjoyed mine more, and I found Craig feeling the same way when I came back. Graham did our last lap and he was a champ storming around the lake with a solid time and reeling in a few minutes on the teams ahead of us. He is one tough 17 year old. The days work was still good for a podium finish and warm fuzzies around the camp fire.

Racing all day and then crawling back into the tent without showering only to get up and ride some more the next morning is a pretty unique feeling. That is what the agenda called for and is what we did. The famous Dan Firman of Rolla, MO was our guide for a wonderful jaunt on the middle fork section of the Ozark trail. We rode for an hour of spectacular Ozark woods riding before turning around to do it back in the other direction. We made a dirt road detour half way back that turned out to be perfectly lovely riding beside babbling brooks, green pastures, and happy horses. All the elements of a turn of the century novel.

Dan and Craig lead the way down the idyllic road. Soon after this picture we would be eating cheese burgers and fries.