Friday, January 30, 2009


Sitting around the check in counter at work the other day several of us agreed that it had recently dawned on us that we are in the midst of a good winter for trailriding. Although there has been a trickle of moisture here and there it has basically been cold enough to keep a consistent flow of rides on the frozen trails, and only once has it been a complete icescapade. Back about a month ago a sizable crew was out on Blue River riding singletrack that you could have ice skated sections of. I remember getting back to my car after being out 3 hours and feeling like I had cheated death. All in all the hours are racking up better so far this year than the past couple of seasons, I really hope I can keep this momentum rolling for the second half of winter.

The highlights on my 2009 calendar are for all three of the Granny Gear 24 hour races. We have a seasoned team of racers and we are all excited about trying to throw down. I think I have wrote it on here before but team 24 hour races are basically my favorite thing to do in the world. You are still stupid tired, your head is still frazzled, you are still eating as much as you can possibly get into your system, but most importantly you are still riding fast. I cannot wait to be in West Virginia at 3:00 AM going ridiculously fast over some slimy roots, not consciously thinking about a thing, your mind in that zone where the only thing it knows is maximum velocity down the trail. I love when one of your buddies comes in from a lap all totally buzzing, telling you some kind of crazy story that always starts with, "you know that one section..." I am definitely motivated for our team to try and get out there and win some races, but most importantly I just want to be going bogus fast having a freaking riot. When I get real happy riding I get this feeling that my brain is swelling up and my checks hurt from smiling even though I haven't been smiling. I want to get that feeling allot.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

fixed MTB

This is the latest frame from my Uncle Chris. I wanted a dedicated fixed gear with a stouter tube set than my current SS, horizontal drops instead of sliders, and no rear brake mounts. The fork was made for me by Jay at Stoic Cycles , right outta Great Bend, Kansas. Notice the little kick plates on top of the fork, for resting your weary legs on a downhill that you do not want to spin down. That comes in handy when spinning your trail riding gear through town to the trailhead. Huge base miles will soon be spent aboard this battle rig.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bike Racing

I have had a whirlwind week, and it seems like just a day ago I was here writing on the last race. On Monday morning I caught my flight to San Jose and arrived mid day in sunny California. I have to say California really is as good as all the people who live there say it is. Even when it was overcast and drizzling it was over 50 degrees. My classes were a blast and I felt like a learned a ton. One of my instructors was from Lincoln, Nebraska (so that seemed right on par for any of my cycling undertakings) and the other had an incredibly deep knowledge of bike fitting and has been in the game from the beginning. Actually he and Andy Pruit were on their way together to Majorca, Spain to do fits on the Saxo Bank team and get them all set on their new Tarmac's. I thought it was pretty cool he was teaching me before he went out to fit Fabian Cancalara and Jens Voight, two of my all time favorites.

The week flew past and before I knew it I was back at KCI on my way to a friends birthday party. Sunday morning dawned, and unfortunately my sister, who lives with Amber and I, ate something bad last night and was having a serious bout with food poisoning. After she blacked out in the hallway we decided it was time to visit the ER. So rushing from there Amber and I came home and she got ready to go to Bike Source and I got ready to go to the final cross race of the season. 42 degrees the bank read as I passed into Old Town Shawnee, not California, but I will take it. A little warm up and thanks to Tom Price I got some nourishment that had been neglected in the mornings hustle. A few more folks were on the line this week, I believe it was the biggest turnout since Nationals. At the start I thought I was clipped in and stood on it hard and about nutted myself rolling over my pedal, so I was the last one to the dirt. That proved fortunate when there was a tangle in the first corner, and even more fortunate when there was another around a bend just ahead. I think I was in second without even accelerating. Bill Marshal was trooping away in the lead and I was sitting on his wheel. Bill was charging real well, but Shadd and Chris Wallace (just home from his Euro national team leg one, he returns for Worlds coming soon) made there way up to us. Chris kept the pace rolling and went streaking away, Shadd chased on to his wheel and I was with Shadd. Wallace was just destroying the pedals and every time he could he was punching the pace with Shadd and I in serious difficulty. When a gap formed between Shadd and Chris I jumped across and was on Wallace for a brief and painful lap. He expelled me and I struggled for a lap or two to keep it together to fend of the racers behind. As I settled into my groove I was pleased with how I was riding, and in no way ready to call it a season, but that's what it is. 2008 Cross season is in the books and it was the stuff that lifetimes should be comprised of. On the upside I won the overall in the Series 60, which came as a nice surprise.

I will try and keep a few interesting posts popping up here and there, but the racing is a little slim for a bit. But certainly not long, I will detail my 09 plans here in the next week or so. Till then, Cheers.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holiday Cross

I was cold today. A little wind blowing and cold temps and it felt down right Arctic out. The sun was shining in the 3/4 race and the course was developing a slimy layer on top that was mucking up their bikes. I quickly unloaded my fixed gear and put it in the pits. It was nice that the officials let us roll some laps while the 3/4 race was going on, that seems completely reasonable as long as we do everything we can to stay out of the way of racers on the course. That made me feel a little better towards USA Cycling whom I had just sent a $150 to renew my license, I was racking my brain trying to remember what they had done for me in 2008. Today's hero was Alex Edwards stepping up to the top race after a season combating at the lead of the 3/4's. Always a relief to see the young chargers leading the way. Only a handful of us were on the start line, but I was proud to be amongst the crew assembled. Off into the race and Mark Studnicki lead the charge,Shadd rounded him, I chased after Shadd, I hung on for the first half of the race before succumbing to cold and tiredness. As my bike was going south in the mud I grabbed my fixed gear for the final few laps, it was a good time and I was happy when it was over. One more race left in the season, that is kind of sad, cyclocross is allot of fun.

I get to spend the week in Morgan Hill, California at the Specialized headquarters becoming a certified Body Geometry Fit Technician. I am pretty stoked to learn the program and ride in some 60 degree weather that I see in the forecast. I have always been interested in bike fit after the first time I received a professional fit and felt the huge difference it made for me. I will give a full account upon my return.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Cross out the last year

Pierson Park had a good festive feel to it when Amber and I arrived Wednesday afternoon. Everyone seemed to think a cold cross race was the best way to end 2008, and I had to agree. Apparently in Belgium they race cross everyday between Christmas and New Years. Here you can race three times in 7 days, that is probably good enough. The course was pretty cool, an uphill paved start, a couple of playground box crossings, and a log run up. Brad Cole (in town for the Holidays) took the hole shot. Shadd went around a minute in and I chased onto Shadd up the first climb. I sorta hung with him for the first two laps, then it was off the back and time to ride by myself. The course was fun though, so the remaining time went quick and I hung on for second place. Props go out to William Prann for stepping up and doing the big boy race, and Brad Cole for coming out to race during his vacation.

I did not make it to midnight but at least I am up early to go for a ride on the first day of 2009. Let's all ride more in 2009.