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.