Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boss Cross 3 & 4

Photos courtesy of the incomparable Vince DeLaughder

I had a good ride today and landed on the podium in 2nd. At the gun it was 35 degrees...brrrrrrrrr!!! I was toasty while racing so I got that right. No JP or Michael today which made me happy but the other guys I have been doing battle with were there, so I knew it would be a hard race and it was!!

We take off, I hit the pedal on the second try and start winding it up on the forever long start straight, I soon realize that the pace I wanted to go and what the others wanted to do was not the same, so I pick up the pace and settle into 2nd at the first turn behind an SKC rider by the name of Prayuth Sirisudhi. The course was pretty fast and not very technical, especially the first half. Prayuth drills it hard out of every turn and soon we have a gap. I was hitting my lines through the turns and showing him a wheel almost every turn, I finally got around him and started riding my pace, which had me out front solo on the 2nd lap.

Rolling into the 3rd lap I slowed a bit because the gap I had wasn't big enough to keep going solo. At this point the BC series leader Richard Hu, and Josh Taylor join me and we set sail. On the next lap Josh rolls by me and says Richard is suffering so he and I take turns on the front keeping the pace high. About a half lap later, Josh and I rode away from him. For the next 3 laps Josh and I trade off and increase our lead over 3rd.

On the final lap I sat on Josh's wheel for the entire lap with the idea of jumping him with a few turns to go. With about 1/4 lap to go we encounter soon to be lapped traffic, so Josh calls out we are coming by on the left, the lapper moves to the right, Josh starts to move by and as soon as they were shoulder to shoulder the lapper moved to his left and they came together...the lapper goes down in front of me. Fortunately I gave some room because we were on the fastest part of the track and I managed to skirt by. I did have to slow a bit to avoid the carnage, which created a gap of about 50 feet, so I jump out of the saddle and sprint to his wheel, about the time I was almost to his wheel he looked back and saw that the carnage slowed me so he eased up a bit and I got there.

Now on to the last long straight, which was equally as long as the start/finish, that lead to a right and a series of lefts that spit you out on the start/finish straight. Every time we got to this part Josh drilled it at the beginning and I had an answer, except the last time...I think in the melee with the lapped traffic I burned my last match getting back to his wheel. When he jumped, I stood to go with him and the tank was empty...He was definitely the stronger rider today.

I was wondering how I was gonna do today after having 2 weeks off. I felt pretty good overall, but was missing that last little bit of top end that you get from worries though it will come back. I'm getting closer!

Boss Cross 4

Courtesy of the Great Roger Harrison!!


I felt better today and the guys I had to race yesterday weren't there today, but some other racers picked up where Josh and Richard left off. The course was more or less the same but run reverse of Saturday, we had 2 stretches of sand and 2 sets of barriers. I got another good start and settle into 2nd behind Kelly Ricke from 360 racing. I knew he was a strong rider from previous races and he was out for redemption from rolling his tubie off the rim yesterday for a big fat DNF. He decided to drill it for the first 2 laps and try to ride away. It sort of worked but I managed to stay with him and we rode away from the field. I thought I was going to go blind during these 2 laps, but finally punched through the pain and life was good!!

On the 4th lap, Steve Songer, a 50+ teammate of Kelly who, as far as I can tell, wins every race he lines up in, catches up to us and sits on. It was about this time I decided to go to the front and drive for a while. As we cross the line to start the 5th lap Kelly comes around me with good speed and tries to ride away. He got a good gap initially but I was not having it today. I get to his wheel and tell him "all day long"!! At that point Steve comes around and starts driving our train...I'm thinking, great, these 2 are gonna work together to drop me, I decided it would be a good idea to not go around again while the 3 of us were together. About a half a lap later Steve finally rode away. Kelly Tried a few digs here and there but as I said, I wasn't having it today!!

On the last lap we slowed quite a bit, Kelly was setting the pace and was recovering for the finish. I was good with it, my plan was to sprint him for the win. That plan got changed when we hit the sand on the last lap. We were both riding it one way and having to run the other section due to course layout. The established line through the sand had a slower rider trying to ride it and Kelly was lining up to take the same line. About the time Kelly hit the sand, the slower rider stopped about halfway across, I see this and decide to make my own line to the left, Kelly plowed into him and flipped. I go blazin by, ride to the next section, run it, remount and drill it. I go as hard as I can go the rest of the lap and cross the line in 1st!!!

I love riding my bike!!!!!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

360 Cup

I finally got on the podium today, 3rd out of 18, JP Brocket and Michael Smith finished ahead of me. Earlier this week I had pondered doing the 3's race but decided against it because it was 40 degrees and I was over being cold after the masters race. Although while I was racing I was fine, got the clothing selection right.

I had a good ride today, I hit the pedal on the first try and was off and running. I settled into 5th at the first turn and moved into 4th as we ran the first set of barriers. I think Josh Taylor was in 3rd ahead of me at this point, he and I tried to stay with the 2 "fast" guys but it wasn't in the cards.

After about 2 laps Josh started to slow, so I went around, pushed the pace and rode him off my wheel. Michael was about 100 feet ahead of me and did a huge powerslide and ground to a halt. I rode by him and tried to ride away...that lasted about a 1/4 mile. He came by and I tried to stay with and managed to for a bit but ultimately he rode away...again. I think there's at least one carbon wheel in my future.

Now riding by myself, Roger Williams bridges to me. It was good timing because there was a long sidewalk section that was headwind so I sat on his wheel until we hit the grass again, at that point he started to slow so around I went, brought the pace up and rode him off my wheel. Now I had a decent gap, just had to keep pushing. A lap or so later Steve Songer and Andy Lucas from 360, 2 strong 50+ riders, catch up to Roger and Josh and of course they latch on to Steve and Andy as they go by...I see this and think great, they are gonna drag them to me....BAH!!!

Steve manages to get away from the 3 of them and comes by me shortly before the finish line. I decided to stay with him as long as I could, which was about a lap and that included me drafting him on the headwind sidewalk section for a little recovery!! This move had me increase the gap a little over Roger and Josh and Andy finally rode away from them as well...disaster averted!!

The rest of the race Andy, once again, kept me honest and chased me relentlessly til it was out of reach again...which at the line was about 150 meters...maybe!!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Boss Cross 1 & 2

Boss Cross 1

Let's see...Today was a good day overall, I managed to pull a 5th out of 20 in the masters 40+ under a big blue sky!!

I was pondering the race a day or two ago and found out JP(I'm gettin crazy fast) Brocket was gonna line up in the old guys class...I wasn't too worried about it, I was thinkin I would just sit on his wheel and see what happens.

I get to the venue and talk to JP for a bit and find out another ridiculously fast local speedy guy by the name of Shadd Smith was going to be in the 40+ as much for the wait and see idea...So I get on with the inspection/warm up and find a track that has a little something for all riders...this is a good thing.

The time comes to line up and as I have stated in the past NO DFL!!! I was there with plenty of time to get the spot I wanted, again!! GO!! We're off, I slot into 3rd behind the aforementioned speedsters and was good with it. I kept them pretty close until the course opened up and they dropped the hammer, I tried to hang on until I started to go blind...I waved goodbye.

I think I crossed the line in 4th after one. About a half lap later the EFFING RIB CRAMPS came back...I had to slow a bit and once again lost a spot...I really need to figure this shit out soon!!

Anyway...I decide to push through and ride as fast as I can. A lap or so later, 6th gets by me for about a minute. He washes his front wheel and takes a dirt sample. I rolled by him as he was getting up and decided to go as hard as I can to the stairs to get a gap. I was riding down the steps on the exit of this feature where the guy chasing had to run for fear of trashing his carbon tubies. This move alone got me not quite out of reach of 6th, but far enough he would have to put in a HUGE effort to get to me.

Courtesy of Flyover Photography

The rest of the race was uneventful but painful. 6th kept me honest until about a third of a lap to go when he finally conceded the spot and put it on cruise.

I'm mostly good with how it turned out today...stupid cramps!!

Boss Cross 2 tomorrow!!


Boss Cross 2

I get to the venue and get ready to ride the course, which was changed up a bit. The stairs were gone in favor of a standard set of barriers...hmmm...this may make for a long day. With my inspection complete, a good warm up and stretch, I'm ready to race.

About 15 minutes to go, I see several riders circling slowly around the start looked like a shark feeding frenzy! Anyway, this was my cue to roll that way. I ride around until my clock said 10 til the gun and took my spot on the line, it wasn't more than 30 seconds later the rest were rolling in for a front row spot on the grid...NO DFL!!! The start was wide today, it lead to a pretty fast sweeper to the left which lead to the sand pit, which was rideable both directions today.

Go!! The drag race to the first turn and into the pit first has begun. The start was probably 300 feet to the first left and about 200 to the sand. No one really established a lead at the start, that came right before the pit...I was praying to the gods of CX that I not bury my front wheel and take a sand sample on the first lap...I guess they were listening, no sand for me but in my shoes.

Right out of the pit I'm sitting 3rd, With Josh Taylor and Richard Hu driving it. Through the sand again on lap 1 with the order the same. As you exited the sand it turned left and onto a paved path for about 100 feet or so, also on the same left turn was the entrance to the pit...this is where I went...D'OH!!!! No harm no foul, I dabbed a foot as per the rules and got right back in line.

About halfway through the first lap the course starts to straighten out a bit, it was at this point I was thinking, why are we going so slow??? The field is gonna swarm around us any second!! This never happened, the 3 of us had gapped the field, and were riding away.

The first 2 laps were more or less the same, and it was looking like it was just the 3 of us to battle it out for 1st when the time came. Until lap 3...on the first trip through the barriers I noticed that Josh and Richard step through instead of around. I was like huh...that looks faster...I'm totally gonna do that next time through. Which I did, no worries, or so I thought. The very next time through, as I step through and get ready to run my free foot/toes hooked the ground and I go flipping...literally...

I scramble to my feet and grab my bike and take off. In the course of this adventure, 4th, who was not having a stellar day by any means. I heard him hit the ground several times behind us. Goes rollin this point I'm riding again, but the seat post has twisted so I roll along slowly and twist it back with my legs, tons of ground lost. I punch it and try to get back to the wheel of 3rd, but no dice. I was on the limit from hitting the ground and just couldn't get recovered fast enough to get over. 4th out of 18 is where I finished.

I spent the rest of the race in no mans land. I had a little motivation, Andy Lucas was trying to run me down, and I wasn't gonna let that happen today.

If you know me and/or have ridden with me, you've probably heard me say, DON'T THINK JUST PEDAL!! Apparently I need to take my own advice...Oh well...It would've been nice to fight it out for the top step but it wasn't meant to be. The good thing about cross, is there are races every weekend, so I'm sure I will get to do battle with those two again!!

360 cup is up next.