Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CX Season Wrap

There seems to have been a lot of accusations of "sandbagger" flying around this year. I had this term leveled at me in serious fashion even though I did not win one single race this year- a lot of podium spots but no wins. Give me a break. STFU and ride hard. Yeah, there are a few 3's that need to cat up, but like myself, I'm sure they're apprehensive, if not downright scared, to jump into the Open field. I catted up anyway. I'm a 2 now and we'll see what happens next year. Luckily (Ha!), I'm old enough to race the Masters if I so choose. I want to race where I'm challenged. I think the best race is where you're on the brink with a guy in front who you're chasing and a guy behind you wanting to take you out. I just want competition that makes me faster. I'm pushing for a 2/3 race next year.
Seems I race cross much better after a few beers than without. Not sure how that will translate to road... just kidding.
Race of the year? For me, it was Barnyard Cross in Manhattan. I scored a first in the SS class and even though the usual suspects weren't there from KC, it's nice to race your hands as you cross the line. Looking forward to next year's race. I'll start a rumor: This might be the KS State Champs race for 2010- I hope so.
Best venue ever? St. Mary's, Leavenworth. Amazing. The perennial cyclocross playground. I won't miss a race held here. Won the C.4 Championship there last year and the C.3 Gold there this year, so it holds a special place in my heart. I'll take my grandkids there someday...
I love my Curtlo cross bike more every time I ride it. OX Plat w/ banana stays. Stiff it is not. Don't understand why anyone would want a stiff cross bike. My SS it considerably stiffer and it's so much more of a bear to handle on course.
I did 3 SS races this year and turned in a win and two 2nd places on my On-One Pompino w/ Origin 8 carbon fork and 39-18 gearing. Funny, After lap one or two on the geared bike, I settle into one or two gears anyway.
Team Colavita had a big cyclocross contingent this year and that made me very happy. Steve V. was most impressive. His relentlessness and methodical improvement were inspirational. Andy W. scored the C.4 KS State Championship. Brittion slugged it out in the Open class. Joe and Adam were always a threat. Nathan and Eric E. were always there to throw down. And Eric Stull? I think Stull's case was classic Love/Hate with cross. I hope he goes again next year. Jane had some great rides too. We need more girls in cross!
Looking forward to next year; Masters, Open, SS, whatever... Now begins the long, hot road "training" season.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Epic Cross

Sadly, today's Epic Cross race ends the cross season. I got 2nd behind Songer in the SS again and won some more beer (Hear that, Joe?). It was the sloppiest conditions I've ever ridden in- very fun. This was the most spectator-friendly race I've been to. Due to the tight layout and the pseudo effigy mound running down the center of the field, you could see the entire race easily except for where we disappeared for about 10 seconds behind a snow bank. Mark and Epic staff layed out a nice course. Again no barriers. Is this a Series 60 thing or a heavy snow thing?
Big THANKS goes to Roger who cleaned off everyone's bike after they raced. You rock, Rog!
Season wrap-up and thoughts and some parts reviews coming soon...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Grote Prijs - Shawnee KS

Lots of snow and ice. Mark and crew did a nice job clearing the course but there were still a few dangerous ice patches. Hey, it's racing in January! It was a flat and would-be uninteresting course other than the snow and ice, so as it were, it was quite fun and a little too interesting in a few spots.
I got 2nd in the SS class after riding without sitting down most of the race- not that I would've been seated that much anyway. I crashed halfway through the first lap and when I picked up my bike, the saddle was nosed straight down. I rode around to the finish like that and asked if I could step off the course and grab my tool to fix it. I was asked if it was in the pit- it wasn't- and I was told "no". So, I pounded it with my fist until it was close to where it was and stopped a couple more times throughout the race to perform the same beating ritual.
With about 6-8 laps to go I saw a rider lying flat on his side right in the middle of the course. It appeared as though he'd suddenly grown tired and decided to nap. I stopped and asked if he was alright- no response. So, I stepped off my bike and hailed him again-nothing. I threw my bike to the side and kneeled down and poked his shoulder as I talked to him and he finally started to move. He sat up and I talked to him a few moments as I went through the progressions learned in Red Cross training. As I sat there, I watched everyone else in my race cruise by, but finally a couple race officials showed up and I was able to jump back in the race. I spent the rest of the race making up positions but I was unable to catch Stephen Songer of 360 who got first.
Great beer was provided by Boulevard and my 2nd-place prize was a 750 of Seeyoulator doppelbock- nice! Joe A. commented that I'm the Master of winning alcohol. I take great pride in that.
One more race: Epic Cross on Saturday. It's gonna be Epic, bra'h!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sounds of cross

Started compiling next year's cross race soundtrack- very important stuff. To me it is. Approaching paramount even... So far:
Red Snapper
Meat Puppets
Guns 'N Roses (sorry)
Gogol Bordelo
Talking Heads
Steve Earle
Tito & Tarantula
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Rage Against the Machine
Scissor Sistors
Dandy Warhols
The Hives
The Who
The Spin Doctors (why not?)
Jethro Tull
ZZ Top