Sunday, October 25, 2009

Smithville CX

Another great race in the De Stad series. The course was very similar to last year but with the added pleasure of The Beach- a 50 or-so meter length of soggy sand along the sunny and beautiful shores of placid Smithville Lake. Ahhhh, what a wonderful place to spend a leasurly Sunday afternoon- or burning your legs off whilst holding down breakfast. That's some fine cross.
I had fun and felt great other than some sore legs from working out with Roberto the day before. Boy, Roberto reeeally did a number on my ass! Nate S. and I took advantage on Saturday of a free 'Power and Endurance Training For Cyclists'. We pounded on tractor tires, climbed ropes, jumped on things, ran, and skipped, and jumped. It was fantastic but it left my legs quite sore. That's my excuse for finishing 7th- HA!
Ate a Minskys pepperoni pizza and watched Evil Dead II with my girlie this evening. It has been a fantastic weekend.
My boy Andy is looking stronger every race. He scored another 2nd in the 4 race flying the Colavita colors for the first time. Adam K. looked good too. Michaela has stated she will do her first race in Manhattan on Dec. 12- looking forward to seeing that!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chris Cross - St. Mary's U

If you ever saw Christian Hosoi fly his famous Christ Air 7 feet above the lip of a halfpipe back in the day then you know where my inspiration came from for this barrier leap.

The St. Mary’s campus is the most beautiful spot for cross. I’d imagine the hardest part about designing a course there is deciding which features to leave out. I’m glad there is still another race there this year.

Bad legs and clumsy: From the start, I couldn’t get it together and things just got worse as the race went on. I had a front line position for the uphill start but ended up going into the first turn in about 15-20th postion b/c I could not get clipped in. I was able to use the wide course to catch back up to the lead group quickly but I could feel that my legs weren’t there. I just didn’t feel like I could get any power and I actually got stiffer as the race wore on. It felt like trying to swim through honey. And to make matters worse, I felt clumsy and hesitant on the barriers. So I spent the whole race fighting myself but despite all my trouble I still managed to grab 3rd place.

It was lonely out there. The first 4 positions got sorted out after lap two and from then to the finish everyone held their position and the gaps between us all just kept growing. At one point Mark Cole stumbled on a barrier up ahead of me and I was able to catch him as he fumbled with his chain. But I seemed to be stuck in low gear and couldn’t get around him and he pulled back away. It was a frustrating race, but sometimes it just be’s that way. I still had fun and enjoyed the course immensly- I just wish I could’ve loosened up and found a rhythm. Looking forward to coming back soon.

It was great to see so many Manhattan faces out there. The best local result was Andy Wiens grabbing 2nd in a photo finish just ahead of Mike Ellis, a KSU rider. Awesome 3-up sprint finish in the cat.4 race!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boss Cross #2, Parkville, MO

On Saturday night, I wasn’t sure I’d make it down to English Landing Park the next day for BC #2, so I didn’t have expectations for this race- that seems to be a good mental state for me going into a race.

I arrived at the park on Sunday morning and saw the course strung out everywhere. Yes, I know that is the nature of a ‘cross course, but this one was really piled up on itself and I had to stand near the first double crossing for a couple of minutes before I figured out where everyone was coming from. Some of the dog-walkers and joggers in the park must have really been freaked. The tread was worn in from the race one day earlier and the soil was near perfect. There were two corners I consistently slid out but everywhere else it was full speed ahead. Jump, dive, and brake late were the orders of the day.

I had a great race. I slid into 5th position from the start and stayed with the 2-6 riders for most of the race. Mark Cole disappeared off the front early and it was obvious it’d be a race for 2nd. Two guys got a small gap on 3 of us after the rider just in front of me stumbled and we got held up. I spent almost two laps chasing down the 2-3 riders and had Rob Schultz go around me briefly. Then he started to fade and I went back around him and another rider and then zeroed in on 2 and 3. I caught them on the backside straightaway along the railroad tracks and they sat up as soon as they saw I was on. My instinct said, “Kill these guys now!” and so I launched and didn’t look back until I was riding through the finish with 2 laps to go and saw I had a 10 second gap. I held the gap on the last 2 laps and rolled across in 2nd. I never saw Mark.

Britton got 2nd in the SS race and that seems weird to me. Not weird like carrots-in-orange-jello, but weird like throwing a glowstick in an open flame. It’s bazaar but then delightful once you realize it’s possible.