Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 in the rear view mirror....

Let's see...I haven't posted anything for a bit. So an update first...After the GP HPT was the Lost Trail race, this was the beginning of a crappy stretch for me...I scored a DNF...LAME!!!

Next up was the Penn Valley race...when I got to the venue at the usual time I found the course still being set up and ended up helping...this cut into my warm up time which did not help!!! Oh yeah the course was either up or down...not good for say I had a bad day on the bike is an understatement!!! I suffered horribly and pulled the plug for another DNF shortly before I was to be lapped by the machine known as John Jones!

Up next was the Epic holiday race...I finally got back on track and landed on the podium again in 3rd, I had a good ride this day and managed to keep a hard riding Paul Aldeguer at about 10-15 seconds for the entire race...he kept me honest the whole way!!!

And finally, the New Longview race...I was having an okay ride in 2nd and picked up a thorn or something...another effin DNF...I still haven't cleaned my bike and found the culprit...mostly because that was my last race of 2013. I kinda wanted to do the last race of the year but that's not going to happen because my give a damn is in hibernation and I'm good with it.

Moving on...the 2013 season for me was okay, not great but not bad either. Unlike 2012, my give a damn broke in August...I kinda knew it would but was hoping it wouldn't. See the 2012 end of season write up...I guess starting in January and staying focused through December was a bit more than I could handle!! I had a few good rides and managed to get on the podium a few times with one being the top step!! Based on how my training went I was surprised to get on the top step!!

I'm looking forward to 2014 and will probably start with a few early season crits and a mtb race or two...after that it's full on focus for the DK Half again! Beyond that is up in the air for now, but I do plan on racing another full season of CX with a few big races in there, mostly for the experience but also to be in fields more than 20... There's a ton more I could babble on about but won't.

There you go, now you know...2013 is ready to be kicked to the curb and 2014 is poised and ready to being anew!!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gran Prix HPT CX

I've been looking forward to this race for a while. Last year I planned on doing it but for some reason I can't remember I didn't get to...not the case this year though!! So I head to the coffee nazi's house and we set sail to Topeka.

We Arrive at Heartland Park with plenty of time to sign up and do a proper recon of the course. During this recon we found a course that I thought was well balanced. A good dose of power sections and technical sections to keep the roadies honest!

On to the I sit at the start line Josh Taylor rolls up and asks me about the new start technique I've been using. I think about it for a second, whether I should share this secret and decide I'll throw him a bone. I tell him to start from the saddle. Like I used to and he still does, he starts standing...Starting from the saddle makes it easier to hit the pedal on the first try making hole shots that much easier.

Courtesy of Joe Houston

Moving the whistle I get another great start, refer to photo above, so much so that I was surprised when I looked around and I was alone heading down the start straight. Shortly after that the field catches up and it's on. I lean into the first turn in 3rd or we lean into the second turn Micheal Smith proceeds to bank shot off of me.

A little rant...I know that rubbin is racing and I don't have a problem with start banging bars a hundred meters into a local masters race is a bit much...if that would have been the last lap, so be it, we can bang bars all day long. I've been racing a long time and in my experience when riders have bumped me they, more often than not, bounce off and I maintain my line which as I recall is what happened to him...I gotta say, I lost a bit of respect for Mr. Smith for that one...

Anyway, we are racing along on the dirt track and the pace isn't very high at this point and then Tyler Henson comes charging by shortly before a downhill off camber left which was sketchy loose at best. He leans in and proceeds to lose the front but doesn't go down, he scrambles to save it and does but at this point I'm out of the saddle charging to close the gap and it becomes the OH SHIT moment of the race for me...I look up in time to barely skirt by him at speed...I'm talking inches here folks! The shot of adrenaline from scaring me had me laughing as I squeaked by!!

By the way, I decided to use some faster tires for this race...I was having issues with this until I settled down and realized I know how to ride all I have to do is do it!!! Sometimes easier said than done...

Pic By Roger Harrison

We roll through the infield and I'm in 4th and content with the we ride up the dirt embankment to the long straight I stand a bit early to put the power down and the front lets go causing me to dab at a really inopportune moment...I get squared away and have to sprint to get back to the train I was in...not too bad on the outside of the dirt track we are rolling along fairly well and I stat to cramp under my ribs....WTF!!! I had to ease a bit and slid backwards to 1st through 4th have set sail and Josh Taylor was 4 or 5 seconds ahead of me. I get rid of the cramps and reeled him in.

On lap 2 I decide to take over the pace making and drive for about a we get to a set of stairs I do the dismount run the steps and remount...this remount about killed me...I landed on one of my plums...I was like WTF!!! First cramps and now a flattened bean...I wanted to puke and cry at the same time...needless to say it took a little wind from my sail...and once back on the dirt track Josh came back around and took up the pace making.

Courtesy of Joe Houston

From then on the race was he and I for 5th and 6th...I gotta say he has a good poker face and was constantly putting digs in to try to dislodge me but after the initial skecthy riding and the ball breaking I was having a pretty good day on the bike so he wasn't going to get away.

Last I have to decide where to attack...each time I came up with a place Josh would put a dig in and squish that in the end I decided I was going to sprint him for 5th. As we approached the last hill I decided I would give it a go and at that time Josh's legs gave up on him and that was how it ended.

I had a good day but small mistakes and smashing manly parts do NOT help!!


Monday, October 28, 2013

2013 Boss Cross 1and 2

Courtesy of my girlie!

Boss Cross 1...

The above pic kinda speaks for itself, but it really doesn't tell the tale. There's not much to say...I had an okay ride and had a decent amount of luck on this day. Oh yeah...and I forgot my freakin bibs!!! Fortunately my girl likes me enough to drop what she was doing and bring me a pair, thanks babe!! Like I said...LUCK!!!

After the Cross Out Cancer race I saw a video of the first lap of that race posted here It was then I realized I needed to ease back a bit after the start and not try to ride away like I have a motor...

Courtesy of Roger Harrison

On to the race...with the new mindset at the start line I get a good start and slot into 3rd wheel while we drag race to the first section of grass. I stay with the lead 2 thinking there were riders behind me, but no, at the first tree was a quick chicane to get around said tree...there was 2 potential lines, the most direct had you bunny hop a root and the smooth "easy line" was to skirt around the root with speed. Apparently the rider in 4th hit the root at speed and flipped in front of the rest of the field bringing it to a halt creating a HUGE GAP to 4th!! The race was now between me, Tyler Hennson, and Scott Stevens. It pays to get good starts!!

Tyler is riding well these days and on the hill he gapped us and set worries...I will fight it out with Scott. After the barriers, which were on the hill, Scott goes to remount and totally blows it and takes a dirt sample. I go by and drill it to the sand pit and created a good size gap for myself. Scott chased for a lap and then pulled the plug on the race...I asked him after the race what happened and it turns out he was sick and probably shouldn't have raced. That sucks I was looking forward to doing battle with him...oh well he'll be back and we shall race again!!

With Tyler gone and a huge gap to 3rd all I had to do was keep the rubber side down and time trail to a 2nd place finish.

My girlie cam pic.

Boss Cross 2...

Again...the pic speaks for itself. The course on Sunday was GREAT!! I thought it flowed well with a good mix of technical and power sections.

On to the race...At the gun I slot into 2nd behind Josh Taylor until we get to the barriers that were right after a 180 degree turn which meant you were starting the dismount before the turn. Josh starts his dismount and proceeds to take a dirt sample...yep, he fell over...So I go by, run the barriers and start driving the pace a little.

I didn't wanna drill it yet, we were only 3 minutes in. I think when Josh falls, his bike bounces back to its wheels and rolls down the course, slowly, patiently waiting for him to's crazy...he was back to my wheel straight away!!

Anyway, I push the pace a little more and create a gap...I think to myself, man it's early in the race...surely he will ride back to me....I'm feeling good today, screw it keep going!! So I keep the pressure on and the gap gets bigger.

The great Roger Harrison once again!!

About 3 laps in Josh has been overtaken by Doug Stone and my gap starts to shrink a little...damn this mid race bad patch!!! I see this and it's time to dig!!!

Now that I'm going blind my gap is growing again so I keep on keeping on riding smooth, hitting the marks in the turns and it pays off with a clean set of wheel to the line!!

I love racing my bike!!!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oakley Night Cap CX

I heard about this race from John Jones at the 360 Cup a few weeks ago and didn't give it much thought...about a week later I saw the flyer and decided it was a race I needed to do.

Fast forward to the week leading up to this race...I caught some freakin ICK and managed to ride 30 minutes the entire week...I was not happy!!! The Saturday of the race I still felt about half beat up. I had decided I was going sick or not...I would either come back and be "healthy" or be right back where I was...EFF IT!!

The course had A LOT of turns that were linked together by a 3 long straights, 2 of which were head wind...did I mention the wind was HOWLING!!!! Anyway, I looked at this course a different way this in where can I rest and where do I need to be on the gas. Looking at it this way, there were 3 sections of turns/switchbacks where you could rest and between theses sections were the long straights where if you weren't on the gas you got shucked!!

On to the race...I asked the official about 30 minutes til the gun if they were gonna do call ups, he said worries I just need to be at the line early...I got there 15 minutes early and was on the front row!! A minute or 2 later and I would've been in the back of 25-ish in my race...NO DFL FOR ME!!!

Right before the gun the official say all classes are starting together...I was shocked at this move, because the start chute was narrow and there was 50-60 total masters racers in that chute, but no worries for me cuz I'm on the front row!!!

GO!! I get another great start, thank you very much Mr. Jeremy Powers for sharing your awesome start technique!!! I slot in to 5th and quickly realize that being off the bike for a week is gong to make this SUCK!!! I hang on to the lead group for the first lap and had to wave goodbye...I was dying!!
I rode in no mans land for about a lap before the second group of 4 caught me...I raced with these guys for about 3 laps before my lack of fitness struck again...slowly but surely they rode away from me...

Now in 10th I put my head down and try to go fast...eventually this has me reeling in one of the racers that was shot out of the second group...with 3 to go I get back to his wheel and this is where I stay. He would gap me a little on the straights but I would close it down in the turns...everyone can pedal but not everyone can RIDE!!

On the last lap I was going blind and eventually he gapped me and I couldn't get it back...I finished 10th out of 23 officially. I was happy with that effort and had I not gotten sick and been off the bike for a week I think I could have battled for a top 5 or better.

I think it was a good thing to get out of my comfort zone and race adn this was a good one to do that at!! I think I will give it a go again next year!

BOSS CROSS up next!!


Monday, October 14, 2013

Cross out Cancer CX

Courtesy of Richard Hu

Initially, I didn't plan on doing this race in favor of a race on Saturday, Olathe Lake CX which never materialized for one reason or another. With that race out, Cross out Cancer was in. I had not done this race before mostly because I had never heard anything good about it...I have to say those people were wrong! The course was laid out well and wasn't crazy bumpy, although it did have it's moments in that regard, but not bad overall.

On to the race...I woke up Saturday with my head feeling like it was in a vice and Sunday was no different...I decided to give the race a go anyway. I had a decent ride despite feeling like my head was in a vice! I finished 6th outta 18. This particular race had the masters categories 35, 45, I had to line up with some not so old racers...

I've been getting these great starts as of late and this race was no different. I drove the front of my race for about 3/4 of a lap and started my slide back where I eventually stopped in 4th. A lap or 2 passes and I slip back to 5th...I got into a good battle with what would end up being 5th and 7th which went back and forth between the 3 of us a several times.

While in 4th I had to slow a bit to recover a which allowed 5th, Josh Taylor, to come by. I needed a break out of the wind anyway to get recovered. 6th, Scott Stevens, was lurking about 15 seconds back and slowly but surely gaining. I finally got recovered and say to Josh we gotta go! So I take up the pace making to try and stay away from Scott but he was riding well and finally passed both Josh and myself. Once by he put in a good dig and gapped us...I think he may have gotten about 12 seconds up.

It took me about a half a lap to bring him back and once there I sat on him to recover until we hit the 2nd set of barriers which is where I decided to go again. I passed Scott and drilled it, quickly openening a good gap of about 10 seconds. The course eventually climbed a small hill and turned into the headwind for about 1/4 mile, the gap was still about 10seconds after a lap, but another rider(InaTub) had caught Scott and they started to close.

About one lap later the gap I created had dwindled to about 5 seconds when I hit the small climb again...once at the top and pointed into the wind they both jumped and went by me...I gave it a go but it was more than I had at that point. The guy that pulled Scott to me dropped him shortly after. He was once again about 10 seconds up. I started to reel him in again on the last lap but a pedal to the ground trying to go faster kinda sealed it for me....little mistakes...they will kill you!!

There you go, now you know. Up next is the Oakley Night Cap Cross in Des Moines Iowa. It sounds like a great race and a good time on top of that...YOU should go!!!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

360 Cup 2013

Courtesy of Foto Matt Cunningham

This past weekend was the 360 Cup and for this year I had decided to race both Saturday and Sunday, mainly because I like the venue and I had a good race there in 2012 so why not!! I gotta admit, I was a little nervous going into this weekend and I think it was due to my fitness not being where it was this time last year, that being said I have been out doing what I'm supposed to be doing to get it to come around...and based on the results...I think I'm on the right track!

I wanted to make sure I got a front row spot so I registered online...those racers got called up first! I didn't really know how big the masters field was and I didn't really care, I just wanted to get a good start...which I did! The new starting technique works well!!

Courtesy of Roger "The Great" Harrison

GO!! I take off hitting the pedal on the first try and ride as fast as the guy next to me...we were shoulder to shoulder heading to a small bridge so I grab a gear and proceed to get there first. Not long after this, the eventual winner and 2nd place go by me...I latch on to 2nd and keep him close for a couple of laps but eventually lost contact. At this point my efforts produced a gap of about 10 seconds to 4th, Josh Taylor...he managed to keep this gap pretty steady for the next 3-ish laps it was about this time where he decided to push the front wheel and go down...I gotta say it was pretty cool seeing his front wheel throwing roost as he was going down...this gave me a little more breathing room, very little!!! I was starting to go blind!! Thanks Josh!!!

Courtesy of Roger "The Great" Harrison

I'm thinkin he bounced off the ground and landed on his bike at speed because the next time I saw him he was maybe 3 seconds further back...D'OH!!! Back to the gas for the next 3 laps...he kept me honest fo sho....which is good....I didn't really need to ease up for that long. I was riding the barriers until about halfway through the race...I cased the rear and came to a stop...I ran them the rest of the race after that I made sure to hit the my marks and kept it clean to the line for a solid 3rd.

Courtesy of Foto Matt Cunningham

Day 2

All pics Courtesy of Roger "The Great" Harrison

What to say....I had a better race, but ended up on the same step as Saturday...3rd! Once again I got a stellar start and lead to the first turn...the hole shot is crucial some days...not so much here. Once again John Jones came by shortly after a sidewalk section and I decided to try to hang on to this freight train and I did for a while...I think I surprised him a little because he kept looking back and I was still there but it wouldn't last.

He started to inch away here and there and I made a couple of small mistakes...oh well this effort had me in 2nd with a good gap to 3rd...this too would not last.

I kept the hammer down and managed to defend my position fairly well...that is til I started to go gap dwindled quickly and before I knew it I was in 4th. When 2nd and 3rd rolled by they immediately created a gap of about 5-8 was time to ride into hell. For the next half lap I turned myself inside out and got back to the wheel of 3rd....unfortunately 2nd had already set sail...

As we turn into the first "technical" section I am on his wheel. As we get to the barriers, we both dismount and this is where 3rd came unglued. I ran the barriers and I'm pretty sure he walked. I remount and drill it creating a gap he would never close...and this is how the race ended.

The weekend was good overall and I'm glad I dug deep to get my spot back on Sunday.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Manions CX 2013

Courtesy of Roger Harrison

Finally!!! My first cross race of the season has come and gone and again it was at Manions. I think I like this venue but also hate it...I think the hate comes from being the first race of the season and suffering on a higher level at a place that isn't conducive for my big ass to "do well"...I guess I shouldn't say "do well"...I did manage a 6th out of 18 loonies today in classic CX know...wind, rain and MUD!!!!!

On to the race...The rain started early today which meant the mud tires I put on yesterday would be spot on and the worked well for the most part...anyway...The rain eased to a light variety and I set off to do my warm up. My traditional warm up was tossed out the window today due to conditions but I did do 2 recon laps and then headed to the road to get ready.

Sufficiently warmed up I head to the start line to keep my NO DFL rule intact...I was golden and got a spot on the front row!! When it was finally go time my new starting technique helped me grab the holeshot! I was totally not expecting that, it was a good thing though, because the first really technical turn became a bottle neck and the gaps started to open to those who were in the first 7 or 8 positions.

I think I led about 2/3rds of the first lap it was then the eventual winner rolled by me and set sail. A short time later Roger Williams comes rolling by on a freakin single speed only to ride away...oh well...I'm in 3rd and not blind yet. I stayed in 3rd for the next 3 laps I think it was then I started to suffer...and this eventually cost me 2 spots...back to 5th.

Still in 5th with 2 to go Josh Taylor was slowly closing the gap to me and just before we started the last lap he got by me. I was good with it at this point because the majority of the next few long sections were headwind and I was gonna sit on and hide. The ultimate plan was to sprint Josh for the position but that didn't happen...

We were wheel to wheel for about the first 1/3 of the track, then I bobbled, had to dismount to get gong again and kinda gassed myself a little do this but I did get back to his wheel. Shortly after that there was a super greasy off camber turn that I had been riding all day and this time I had all kinds of problems...Josh ran it and gapped me...this led to a downhill that I hadn't had a problem all day until now....I put a little more effort in to closing the gap on this section and was rewarded with being bucked sideways at speed and having to do a mach speed power slide to the tape to keep from wadding myself up and taking a mud sample...this was were it was over.

Would I have done anything different? Probably not. Am I happy with the result? Yeah because last year I had waaaaay better fitness going in to this season and finished 7th on a dry fast course. At this point I'm not sure if I will line up on Sunday...My bike is clean and I suppose I'm ready to go if the urge hits me...we shall see.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cyclocross camp's been a while since my last post!! I guess racing less this year means less posts...let's see...I did do a couple of crits...the Tour of KC and the Tour of Lawrence. Nothing special to write about there, I suppose that's why I didn't...I stayed upright and finished about 22nd in both races, although I was inside the the money going into the last turn in Larry town but a few knuckleheads in front of me decided to get close and personal and try to crash...which meant I had to check up and we all know hitting the brakes coming into the last turn of a race at 30+ equals going backwards much for getting entry fee back...oh well.

Moving on...after those races it was time to look forward to cyclocross...which as I write this is still a month away. This year I decided that I wanted to attend a CX camp which I did, the Fascat CX camp in Boulder Colorado with Jeremy Powers and John Verheul of JBV Coaching.

Obviously if you're a seasoned CX racer you know who Jeremy is, on the other hand you probably don't know who John Verheul is. I'm not sure if it's widely known, but he is considered by those in the know to be the best CX bike fit/setup guru as well as being a top notch coach. Both of the guys were great to learn from.

I was crazy nervous about attending this camp and I'm not sure's probably the fact that I ride and race CX on a 29er MTB frame and fork with a low rise flat bar instead of the traditional CX ride. I gotta admit, I did get a few sideways looks being the only flat bar out of 30ish riders, but once we got going and working on skills the looks went away....and I think it was because they realized I had skeeeeelz!!!

A side note, I did get the "why the flat bar" question 4 or 5 times...To the 10's of you that read this, you already know the answer to that question, but for those that don't, I don't believe a road bar offers any real advantage over a "flat" bar! Yes I know it's not traditional...but who cares?!

So the camp starts on Friday at 3:00pm. We meet at Fascat and ride as a group over to Valmont bike park to ride the 2014 CX nationals course. If any of you have been to this park you know how RIDICULOUSLY BAD ASS this place is, for those that don't know...this park is for every cyclist that likes dirt, it has a dirt jumping track, dual slalom track, singletrack everywhere, 2 permanent sets of CX steps with berms and small jumps throughout!!! Once we rode into this place I thought I died and had gone to where the gods of dirt tread!! I totally felt like a 12 year old...while we were riding the course as a group, I was catching air whenever I made me giddy...TEEHEE!!!

Here's a few more pics I poached from the google.

The last 2 pics are of one the permanent stair features...CX races would never be the same around here if we had such a place!! I think this place is a must see.

Onward...Saturday and Sunday were spent working on CX skills. I have to be honest, I didn't think I would learn anything at this camp but surprisingly, I was wrong! My dismount is definitely improved and I learned a few little secrets about starting too, I did learn how to shoulder a bike properly which got me a lot black and blue on my right arm and shoulder. As for the rest, for me anyway, it was stuff I'm already good at, mostly bike handling stuff...I am an old MTBer and riding on a grass course is waaaaaaaay easier the going fast in the woods over roots and rocks while dodging trees!

Anyway...was the camp a good investment? Yeah I think so. I think any racer would come away with more useful knowledge to hone their skills with than practicing on you own sans a camp.



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Dirty Kanza 2013

Let's see...

Another year has rolled by and again I went to Emporia to get me some Flint Hills gravel. For 2013 the great peeps that run the Dirty Kanza decided it would be a good idea to do a half distance DK...110 miles officially. This made me happy, mostly due to the fact I've tried the 200 twice and for one reason or another had yet to reach even halfway let alone complete this 200 mile bout with the Flint Hills of Kansas, so sign up for the half I did and here's my story.

Anyone who has done this race knows the day starts early...for me it started at 4:30, get dressed, eat breakfast, down some caffeine, love me some caffeine, and be on the bike riding to the start by 5:30 at the latest!! On the bike now and wound up for a variety of reasons, I drill it to the start line...about 3 miles. You know what they say, the longer the race, the shorter the warmup...well...whatever I did worked because I never suffered in the first hour, and I was with the lead group out of town for the half....and we were flying!!

Moving on...The start was staggered 15 minutes and I'm sure some of the 100 riders rolled out with the 200...oh well. I started out fairly fast and a group of about 15 quickly formed at what I thought was the front of the 100. I felt within myself and wasn't worried about the speed at this point. We started a rotation, not a very good one I might add, the guys were taking 2 minute+ pulls, I limited mine to 30 seconds, this went on for about an hour maybe less.

Our group came to some GIANT mud holes, this is where the 100 and 200 came back together as well. My group disintegrated because it was a hike a bike...oh well...once I got through I started riding my pace which was faster than I had anticipated but no worries. A few miles later the course was pointed straight at Texaco hill.

Once to the top of this climb I stopped and took a look around for a minute...there's something about this part of the world...and I like it!! A handful of miles later the course split again, this is where the 200 went it's own way for good, well at least until the rolled into Cottonwood Falls. Shortly after this split there was a water station for the 100. I asked how many had come by and he said about 8-10, this was encouraging! I could see a rider about a half mile ahead of me at the base of what turned out to be about 4 miles of climbing, so I set out to catch up before we turned into the wind.

I got to the top of the climb and saw a rider that was in the early group was close so I waited for him and he and I started to work taking turns into the wind. We eventually caught the rider I was trying to run down on the climb and the 3 of us started to work which was nice because the wind was howling 20mph+ and we had 30 miles to go til the checkpoint. Eventually we shelled the guy I waited for and the two of us set sail...this is where the wheels sort of came off...somewhere between miles 40 and 50 we missed a right turn and didn't realize it until 5-6 miles later.

Once we figured out we needed to go back the way we came, we get rolling and a 1/4 mile later a farmer stopped us and said "you boys aren't lost, you're missed you turn about 4 miles back" this point he tells us the road we are on will eventually connect with the course so just stay on it and you will get back on track. This guy was awesome!! We would have eventually got back on track but it would NOT have been that easy!!! Thanks farmer dude!!! So we get rolling and something feels weird about my bike...ugh...the front tire is flat...leave it to me to find the one piece of wood on a bazilion miles of gravel that will give me a about insult to injury!! A quick change and away we go.

Once back on course we were working again and my legs were getting tired, I was starting to worry a bit because I had been eating and drinking like I was supposed to so this wouldn't happen. We finally reach the right turn onto pavement which would be the last 3 miles to the checkpoint with a tailwind!! A good opportunity to spin out the legs right before a break. At the checkpoint I was at 71 miles and should've had 60....

I was at the checkpoint for about 10 refueled, loaded up with the stuff I would need for the next 50 miles and headed out. I looked for the guy I was riding with so I wouldn't have to face the next 25 miles of headwind alone but no away I went, solo.

I was feeling okay when I rolled out but after about 12 miles I was feeling good again and rode a sustainable pace into the wind and went as fast as I could when I was with the wind. I did stop 3 times briefly the first two to move turtles off the road, I wanted to make sure I had enough good karma for the last 50. The third stop had me stop and help a girl named Kimbal. She was running a tubless CX set up with only Co2's to refill and the bead had come off, which meant she was screwed because she didn't have a pump...I guess I needed more good karma because I more or less changed and aired it up for with the pump I WAS was faster for me to do it anyway...she was fighting it. I got her rolling and away I went.

I finally reach about 25 miles to go and the course from this point on was tailwind or quartering tailwind. I had my computer on ride time so I would eat every 15-20 minutes. I put my head down and drilled the last 25 miles which took about an hour and 10 minutes...I was a man on a mission!! I covered the last 50 in 3 hours total and felt strong while doing so. I gotta admit I was a little bummed when I turned onto main street for the finish, due to getting lost on the first leg and adding about 50 minutes to this melee, but that quickly went away when the crowd that had gathered cheered me as I rolled to the to finish. That by itself is what made me want to do it again!!!

As I look back, I think about my first attempt at the 200 in 2011...I did everything wrong and suffered horribly, I honestly have never suffered that bad for that long. Last year, 2012, I might have been able to complete the 200 but it just wasn't meant to be. This year I trained for the half and my efforts were rewarded with a strong 123.5 mile was supposed to be 110 but apparently I need more Flint Hills gravel!!

Anyway...if this year went well I was considering attempting the 200 again next year with the goal of beating the this point I don't think I will do that but it's a year away and people change their minds. I will however, at the minimum, do the 100 again I absolutely had a blast!!! If you are looking to challenge yourself, the 100 will give you all you can handle and maybe more I GUARANTEE IT!!

Final numbers...9:03:34 total ride time for 123.5 miles...I would do it again in a heartbeat!!!


Friday, May 3, 2013

F'ing WEATHER!!!

Okay, Mutha Nature....we submit!!! We the cycling community have been tapping out for a month now...could we please get a week or two of nice dry weather?!?!?! F**K!!!!

The majority of you, including myself, out there ride trainers in the winter for a few months with the motivating goal of getting outside on a regular basis starting about the beginning of March...well...for some reason Mutha Nature has increased her hatred of cyclists this year and released her wrath several times along with cold, snow, rain, and overall shit conditions to train in with no end in least for the next 5+ days....LAME!!!!!

I'm thinkin if this spring is any indication of what's to come weather wise for the rest of the year...better stock up on mud tires for CX because we're gonna need 'em!!!

Moving on...I did line up for the Bone Bender...I thought I wanted to do this race but not really, after the fact I was looking at the list of races I picked to do and this one had a HUGE quetion mark beside it...the reason for that was after the 2012 version I decided that I wouldn't do that race again, just because it's a brutal place to do battle in the least from my perspective. Riding at Clinton lake is fun, racing at Clinton lake...not so much!!!

I was rolling along okay during this race, I was in 7th outta 28 after 1 in the 40-49 I get to my cooler, reload and convince myself to do another lap. After the first section of single track I pulled the plug...I wasn't having fun and the thought of 12 more miles at Clinton wasn't very appealing and on top of that, at the time thought I was DFL...oh well. I like doing 3 hour races, hell, I liked doing the R.I.M. 6 hour, as a team, but still liked doing it. If the Bone Bender moves to a new venue I will probably line up again...if it's at Clinton lake again...I'm good.

Mutha're a HO!!!


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Random stuff and MTB racing...

As you can tell by the by the picture above, I have a new frame and fork. When I was pondering what color of new steed, I was thinking about an all black model which has a very cool "stealth" look to it, but decided on this color scheme instead, mostly because I have two black carbon bikes and didn't want another.

I got it put together the other day and of course the weather is going to be CRAP for the foreseeable future and when it does clear up the roads will be shit again because of the impending snowpocalypse...thanks Mutha Nature...HO!!!

Moving on...Tomorrow is supposed to be the 1st MTB race of the of right now I haven't decided if I'm going...that's gonna be a game day decision. The great determining factor will be how much freakin snow is on the ground and how F'D up the roads are...I'm not too concerned with the course conditions as I will be racing my CX machine...which should be an advantage...maybe...

Winter in the middle of the country can go away ANYTIME NOW!!!


Sunday, March 17, 2013

2013 race number 2...

There's not much to write about this one. I will say this, I'm getting tired of putting on every stitch of winter gear I own to ride or race!!! This past Thursday and Friday was a freakin TEASE!! I'll take it though! I was thinking going into this race that I would be going a little better, and as I have thought about yesterday I think I am, again, the results don't show it...oh well...I don't need to be flying right now...C'mon CX!!

Anyway, the field was decent sized, about 25ish in the masters race. At the whistle we take off and the pace goes up for about a 1/4 of a lap and settles down. On the 2nd lap I decide to go to the front and drive, making sure to ride in the gutter when it would make the field suffer. After about a lap and change of being on the front the field got itchy and we were racing...the next few laps had me nearly blind, my legs feeling like LEAD and close to coming unhitched from the field, fortunately the pace relaxed and life was good. I guess the pace was sufficient enough to shuck part of the field...I never looked back to see this damage but I do know we lapped a few small groups.

Moving on, the middle of the race was "normal". After the last prime was contested a small group of 3 riders decided to give it a go to the line. Initially the gap was manageable and I was thinking about going across because it was looking like a winning move, according to my gut, but I decided to watch and this wait and see period 2 different teammates of 2 guys up the road managed to get the field slowed long enough for the gap to become unassailable....LAME!! As I have said before, listen to your gut...IT'S ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!!!

With 3 to go I decided to give the finale a go, I had a good position about 10th or so which I maintained. Coming to the last turn the pace was high, we make the last turn and it's on. I'm following a wheel and when I get enough speed up and come out of the draft, I was greeted by a NASTY head wind and had to tuck back in til I got a little closer, this pretty much sealed my fate for an inside the top 10 finish...I'm not sure where I ended up, but probably about where I started my sprint....11th or 12th...maybe.

Oh well, that's racing and you can't be great every race.


Monday, March 4, 2013

It's officially on...

This past Saturday kicked off the 2013 racing season for me. So I headed out to the Spring Fling at Clinton lake in Lawrence to see what sort of fitness I had.

As I look back on the race, it went pretty good, I finished 11th out of 24. It wasn't a really hard race but not an easy one either. I tried to go with a move early on in the race, but the group was not having it. The early move had me suffering pretty good once we got reeled in but I managed to get recovered, so life was good again. I tried to go with another small move at about 5 laps to go and again it was shut down. Between those 2 efforts it was a "normal" crit...if there is such a thing.

After that the race settled down for the last 4 laps. I was in a decent position on the left side of the group about 6 back going into the last lap and maintained it fairly well until the backside. The right side swarmed up and across and I was pinned against the snow and surrounded so I had to wait until the last turn to gun it. I managed to pick off about 4 or 5 riders and was about a half a bike length from a top 10.

I felt pretty good on Saturday, waaaaaaaay better than this time last year!!!! I felt a little short on the top end but overall, I'm happy with how I felt. A better finish would've been nice, but a little tactical error on my part...stupid early season race brain!! Anyway...hmmm...Oh yeah, it's still winter and there's A LOT of racing ahead, so no worries!!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The "Off Season" 2013

It's January...I'm not a big fan of January mostly because it consists of a lot of trainer time. This off season I'm feeling pretty good!! I started "riding" again after a 3 week break that followed the State CX race. I was a little worried about losing fitness, then realized it's freakin January and it's not a big deal!!!

Most years I manage to stay motivated through January with the hope of riding outside after work in February. Let's hope this February cooperates and I, I guess I should say we, can get outside, ride and slowly but surely tell the trainer to PISS OFF!!!

Here's to staying focused and getting it done in 2013!!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013


2012...what can I say about it...In January I was almost certain that racing was not going to be included but with some stretching, foam rolling and a baseball to DESTROY knots, I finally got to ride pain free on a regular March...HOORAY!!!

At that point I wasn't sure how much racing I was gonna do, but decided to race and see how it started okay, my fitness was pretty low from being off the bike, from mid November til late February, to heal my old ass body, so needless to say I suffered horribly!!!

In May I hired a coach to make the most of my new Powertap, Jeff at Fascat got me going and his regime for me was brutal to say the least...but as I look back on how I rode in 2012, it definitely worked!! Here's a link‎ His philosophy is, training should be harder than racing, and it was. The 2 crits I did in June and July were hard but I never really suffered horribly. I guess my results don't reflect that but being "race savvy" helps produce results and the best way to get that is race and crit racing wasn't a high priority for me in 2012 so I wasn't at my best in a tactical sort of way...

After that it was time to think about racing CX. At the end of 2011 I decided for 2012 I would need a CX bike, so it was time to get that in the works, which I did and you all know what I built so I'm not going to go on about that...

From July to September I was focused solely on CX, with a couple of races in July. One of which I trained for, the Tour of Lawrence crit, and an MTB race that I used for training which I finished on the podium in 3rd behind some REALLY FAST guys...I had a good ride that day but totally didn't think I would be on the podium.

I gotta say training like that and not racing was a huge challenge mentally!! I think I might have gone off the deep end had my first CX race at Manions come any later in the season...mostly because doing intervals at the downtown airport was going to make me go LOONEY!!!! I think about half, maybe more, of the 5000+ miles I rode last year were spent there doing intervals...I swear I think I could ride around that place with a blindfold on at speed...oh well, it's what I signed up for and all of this was preparation for being on form for the state CX race in December.

Finally, CX season rolled around, THANK THE GODS OF ALL THAT IS CYCLOCROSS!!!! I was pretty nervous when I finally toed the line at the first race, mostly because I have NEVER put in so much time and effort into a season of racing and had no idea of how I was gonna do...also I think a good bit of my nerves were from not being a seasoned CX racer and not knowing the fine points of this sport that FREAKIN RULES!!!

The results were slow to come, but they did. With each weekend of racing I moved one step closer to the podium and finally the top step!! I will say this, I think my CX machine surprised a lot of people, mainly because of the flat bar and I can't remember how many times I heard "when are you gonna build a CX bike??? You'll be faster"!! This made me laugh, after all, with the exception 3 or 4 races, I was top 5 or better...haters will hate!

I finally make into December and for the most part I'm ready to rumble at the state CX race. As I sit here and tap out this blog I've had plenty of time to reflect on that race. I had a good day, not a great day, on the bike and I was rewarded for that with a 3rd. I've tried for a long time to get a state jersey and this was the closest I've come to date. It was enough to make me give it a go again in 2013.

As of right now I'm a little apprehensive about that because in 2012 I didn't start riding until March and real training began in May, so being burned out was never an issue and as of right now I plan start training on January I'm a little worried that when CX season rolls around my fitness will be good but my give-a-damn may be broken...I guess I'm gonna find out.

There you go, now you know, I think for me 2012 was a good year for me on the bike. What will 2013 bring??? I have no idea, but I do know that I will be riding and racing and as of now, possibly on a new team...they say change is good, I guess I will begin there and see what happens.