Sunday, December 28, 2008

the right tool for the job once

No matter how good my intentions are I just cannot do two cross races a day. As of today I have given up ever thinking that I will race twice. At least I did make it out to the final Boss Cross race of the year (I missed the previous two due to other two wheel related debauchery) in Parkville along the mighty Missouri. 1:00 start time for the singlespeed race, that went off with the 3/4's, gave the ground plenty of time to de-thaw and become quite the mess. I really did not ride before the race but I could tell that I brought the right tool for the job. The fixed gear 29er was cutting a pretty nice line through the mud and not bogging down with only one disk brake up front. I won the bike race but I am not sure who won the foot race behind me. I had every attention of turning right around and doing the 1,2,3 race but just riding through the muck was tiring and my knees were oddly hurting real bad. So I threw in the towel and went to work where I was supposed to be to begin with.

Nearly every fixed gear ride I become a little more fascinated with all the fun that can be had. Me and a few other boys took advantage of the 60+ degree weather for a full on night time urban fixed gear freeride extravaganza. There was one man on this mission that sailed his rigid fixed gear of a drop that most people would want a downhill bike for. Ridiculous loads of fun.

Wednesday there is a cross race. Pretty cool, but I will only be participating in one event.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Joe Houston (the worlds fastest clydesdale who is actually a clydesdale and not some 6 foot 4 inch meathead) passed these pics along to me and I am paying it forward.
Shadd and the person behind Shadd taking a picture of the guy taking a picture of Shadd
Isn't it ironic.

Ryan Trebon, the fastest man in dirt on a weird road bike

Had I had the wheels this guy was racing on I would have been like 6 feet ahead of him at this point in the race
I really cannot even make jokes about this because Tilford is 96 years old and was in the top twenty. Rumors are he is leaving HRRC to race for AARP in 2009. The only holdup is the contract stipulation that if it below -17 degrees outside you have to wear knee warmers.

At this point in the race I apparently decided to sit up and just coast for a awhile

Monday, December 15, 2008

CX Cross Nationals

Big events are just plain fun. All the team cars, tents, bikes, stars, colorful race kits. It is just cool, and when it is in your town it is even better. I arrived early to the venue to take it all in for a time before starting prep for my race at 1:30. The Collegiate D2 race was good entertainment with multiple attacks out of the sizable lead group. I was hanging out on the middle of the hillside wearing my jean jacket just for coolness factor because it was over 60 degrees already. Around 10:00 I was standing at the tape to watch the first turn of the women's collegiate race when we got hit by a wall of cold air. Never have I felt a temperature drop that sharply that instantly, it was around a thirty degree nose dive that has us all running to our cars for more layers. Well crap, I thought by the forecast I was going to be racing in fifty five degrees and the front would hit later in the afternoon after I was safely tucked away back home. It took me thirty minutes to quit being a pansy and harden up.

I heard we were supposed to be in the start grid at 1:05. What a sight it is to see 100 skinny fools hopping around in lycra shivering and looking nervous for 25 minutes. I was plate number 129 but there was a whole bunch of no shows so it did not really seem like it was as many people as I was anticipating. I was in good spirits at the start with adrenaline coursing through the veins, I was talking crap to the guys around me for fun because they all looked like death warmed over, and I wanted to act crazy enough they would give me a little more room when we took off. 30 seconds to go and then a whistle and then run into the back of the people ahead of me. You are kidding me, a false whistle. I minute later we were off for real. The first several corners were stand still bottle necking, which of course calls for some aggro idiot to shoulder his bike and come fullbacking through everyone, this is ALWAYS the first person you go around when everyone can start pedaling. I started jumping around groups as the course opened up, the hillside was perfect for my singlespeeder climbing style and it seemed like I was passing people on the hill every lap. But things were certainly no bed of roses, from the opening lap my hands had gone into another stratosphere of cold, I was in difficulty descending because my fingers had no dexterity, it felt like I had hoves instead of hands. It was hard to hang on and near impossible to brake or shift. Then in the second half of the race my toes were in screaming pain, I was dreading hitting the barriers because I thought a foot was going to crack off. As well my third appendage was suffering horribly, and you know toes and fingers I can live without but, you know that just isn't going to fly.

I was trying all I could to stay competitive and I worked my way into a group that was pushing it well and giving me something to chase. I had two laps to go when Ryan Trebon shot past like a missile, it was spectacular to see and well worth the 50 bucks and pre stages of frost bite. I knew I was probably going to get lapped, but that does not make it any easier to cope with when you are thinking wow I am having a decent race for me and I am NOT EVEN IN THE REALM of these riders. The top 5 all lapped me. Trebon is one of the top 10 cross racers in the world right now. I really hope he goes and shows it at the World Championships. I finished 45 place. I think there was right around 100 actual starters, so that puts me in the top half. The top half of the Unites States elite level cyclocross racers. That is how I am putting it.

Now to brag on my wife, she recently got her second article published by the Under Current, an online and hard copy paper that she has recently been asked to help out more with. I am proud of her.

I will try and post some Cross National pics as they become available. Cheers

Thursday, December 4, 2008

no news is good news

I have not had much to report on lately. Things have fallen into a routine of bundling up for cold rides and early mornings on frozen trails. With only cross nationals left in the race season it basically is over for me. I am looking forward to the adrenaline kick in the pants of taking off with the all star cast that will be assembled, and I do like all the climbing on the course, but unfortunately I am nowhere near (as in not on the same lap)as fast as these guys. So it kind of makes for that fun place to be in, where there is absolutely no pressure or expectations I am putting on my self and can just enjoy the event.

It is Thursday night, and that means late night adventures. I will be getting to test out my new Seca 700 race that I picked up from my Dad when I was home over Thanksgiving. I rode once in Great Bend with it and was quite impressed, I am looking forward to riding in rocks to see if it casts as clear of a light as I expect. It should come in handy in 2009.

I want to go back to Arkansas, see how happy I was there.