Saturday, December 27, 2014

State CX and 2014.

As always, thanks Roger Harrison.

State CX

When the CX schedule finally appeared this year, this race wasn't on it and I was guessing that it would be in St. Louis or Jefferson city again. With that in mind I decided that I would let another year pass with no State race on the schedule. About a month later this race appeared and in KC!! GAME ON!!!

Before I knew about the state race I decided that Ruts-n-Guts would be my last race of the year. That went out the window with the state race being in added about 2 weeks to my training/race big deal.

There's not much to write about that this will be short. Since I never look at my license I reg'd for 40-44 after all, I'm 44...but my race age is I should've lined up in 45-49...oh well the outcome would've been the same...2nd. It would've been 3rd had John Machine Jones showed up, he's another reason I toed the 40-44 race...I can't get by the Machine so I decided to race lower!

Moving on...I rode the new machine because I finally got rid of one of the gremlins and I think it's a little faster...not to mention a pound lighter! I got a good start an settled in about 5th until we got to the barriers. Vince DeLaughder crashed at the foot of them and helped to create a gap. I went to the front and drilled it...this was a mistake and I would pay for it late in the race.

About 2 laps later Doug Stone finally gets to me and we ride together for about 2 laps before Paul Aldeguer joins us...with about 1 1/2 laps to go a rider from Nebraska joins us. Now 4 of us are racing along and I'm starting to come unglued...about a half a lap later I came off and that was it for my state race...I had an okay ride...I wasn't very smart about it but sometimes you just go for it and it pays off...this wasn't one of those days.


It's hard to believe that a year has rolled by...It feels like yesterday that I was getting myself in shape for the DK and that started on January 2nd this year!! I guess focus and having fun makes time fly!!

As I look back on 2014, I had a decent year on the bike. My big goal for the year was the DK Half. I wanted a top 10 and nailed down an 8th out of 300+ gravel grinding loonies!! After that was to be an easy month and then get after some CX work...the 10s of you that read this know the knee story so I won't go into that.

My cross season started a little slow and pretty low on fitness. I was good with it because I was going to some big races later in the season and I wanted to be going good for those...which I was but for various reasons I had less than stellar rides...oh well...I went for the experience and I will be going back in 2015!!

Kind of a boring year from a racing standpoint...until cross season that is. When I finally reach the end of the season, I always wonder for a little while whether I will get after it again. I guess the answer has been yes for a long time and I'm sure it will be yes again in 2015.

I have committed to doing the DK Half again and then there's cross season...why does it have to be at the end of the freakin year?!?! If there was one cross race a month until September I would be there racing 'em...I would bet there would be more than just me too!!

There's always next year and that's right around the corner!! Kick rocks 2014 cuz 2015 is comin and he heard what you said about his momma!!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Ruts n Guts

Another big event has come and gone and for me this was to be my last race of 2014 until the fine peeps at Boss Cross decided to have the state cx race in my back yard!! Anyway, we drive down the day before in the rain so I can get some recon laps in before I race, the weather was off and on rain the entire way down there so I'm thinking mud-a-thon here I come. Before I continue a bit of a rant...the toll system in Oklahoma is EFFING REDICULOUS!!!

Moving on...we get to the venue and it has stopped raining, so I quickly change and start riding laps. After one lap Mother Nature decided she wasn't done yet and let some more rain fly. Not a big deal, it was 61 degrees and crazy humid so I kept on keepin on. After I was good and soaked about 4 laps I decided it was time to head to the hotel. As I roll up to my truck it stops raining...oh well...I got what I needed.


I arrive at the venue with tons of time to get ready, it was cloudy and about 45 degrees with a good breeze from the northeast. After The recon ride I decided to ride the Hammer due to course conditions which in the end weren't that bad...but my new bike has been pissing me off lately so one more reason to ride the Hammer!

At this race the call up was done by USAC points which got me a spot on the front row, I was thinking hell yes I get great starts on the Hammer so this is good!! the gun I had one of the all time crappy starts on that bike ever!! I missed the pedal about 5 times...this landed me in about 7th at the first turn...oh well...lets see how it goes.

To make a long story short...I slipped back to 10th for a couple of laps, then I managed to get back to 9th and with a little more than one to go I bobbled and dropped back to 10th. going into the last lap I was about 10 seconds adrift so I pulled out my last match and let 'er rip. I managed to close it down to 5 seconds before I blew up...there wasn't very much track left at that point so that's how it ended.

This is the race for 9th.


Sunday I decided to ride the new bike, issues be damned! The course was still soft but it was time to ride the new bike. My less than stellar performance on Saturday got me a 2nd row spot on the grid...oh well better than 3rd or 4th the gun I nailed my pedal and away I went...I'm not greedy at these events because there are some really fast racers with that said I slot into 7th at the end of the pain say I was going blind is an understatement!! I was dangling about 3 seconds off the back and could NOT bridge up!!

The pic above is on the first lap...the tree hides the gap...

As we race on I keep the gap about the same until we hit the sand was not rideable on after I run it...I lost contact. Oh well...I keep going and one other racer who got a really bad start goes blowing by me like I was parked.

Moving now rolling along in 8th, the guy I did battle with on Saturday is lurking about 10 seconds back. I was not gonna give him an inch and was going to go blind keeping it that way.

With about a lap and a half to go I still held a 10 second advantage until I made a slight bobble on a greasy uphill right. This allowed dude to close the gap to 5 seconds....GRRRRRRRR!!! At this point I sold out and went as hard as I could go. As we start the last lap we were still at about 5 seconds. At a half lap to go I was back to 10 seconds and I had broken him.

There ya go, now you know. Ruts n Guts...will I go back, probably. Next year will be huge! Based on what I've read it will be a race for the big dogs and the field sizes should increase.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lost Trail CX

Courtesy of Roger Harrison

Man I wish grabbing the hole shot on the new machine was as easy as it is on the Hammer!! I'm starting to get the feeling that some out there are getting tired of watching me take off like I was shot from a cannon...It's too bad that the rest of the race doesn't go like that...oh well...gotta love that first turn speed!!!

Anyway...I decided to race the Saturday race and maybe Sunday...well...The events on Saturday made that decision for me, more on that in a bit. I made the hour journey south so I could get plenty of course inspection time. Course knowledge is huge peeps!! As I made my way around this track I came to a section that had a telephone poll that you could ride around, run, or better yet RIDE!! I was hesitant at first, mostly because I haven't pulled this move on a fully rigid bike EVER!! If it was an MTB race, I wouldn't have given this obstacle a 2nd thought...would've just done it. But I decided that it would be a good move if the racing was close.

So I do the easy move first...wheelie up and chain ring over it...pssssssshhhh...that was easy!!! So I turn around and give it the up and over move like it was meant to be!! I'm thinking to myself I'm totally doing this in the race, so off I go for more recon.

As I come back to the log (it's easier to type than telephone poll...) I set up to ride it and totally chicken out...WTF!!!!!!! It's now time for final prep and head to the start line. At the line there was 8 in the masters 40's a top 10 for dfl...who doesn't like that?!

At the gun I hit the pedal and you know I got the hole shot...I was on the Hammer!!! I lead for about a half lap when Rick Mosely came around. I stayed with him for the rest of the lap and the he started to creep away...that left me to fight it out with Paul and Travis for second. Paul is riding well these days and I was going ok and the 2 of us eventually gapped Travis so now it was down to 2...who will make the first mistake???

There was an off camber right hand sweeper that you came into with a good bit of speed and if you didn't set up the turn just right you would have to brake or worse, slide out. Remember the mistake comment?? This turn was getting the better of Paul and 2 consecutive laps he did a cool 2 wheel drift...he lost a ton of speed and almost lost it both times but kept it rubber side down. The little advantage he had was washed away both times...good for me!!

The race rolls on and on lap 3 and Paul opens a gap of about 5 seconds. No big deal. I managed to keep it there until the log. By the way, when we came to the log on the first lap I didn't even think about it and flew over it like it wasn't there! Moving on...After the success on lap 1, I continued the log move.

Back to the 5 second gap at the log...Paul rides around it and I fly over it and the gap is immediately gone!! I'm thinking to myself this is where I will hit him and try to take the 2nd step!!

On lap 4 the same scenario was playing out only the gap was about 10 seconds early on but I was slowly taking time back in the turns and when I got to the log again it was back to 5 I set up for the left turn that lead to the log I hit my line and carried more speed than I look at the log I'm more or less right on it, so I yank on the bars and proceed to hit my front wheel and go for a ride. My head and right shoulder simultaneously hit the ground first...I hit my head hard enough that I didn't say ouch...I literally said I think I rung my hurt!!!

So I scramble to my feet and get going...the nice 20 second gap to 4th is now 5 seconds with a little more than a lap to go...Travis chased hard, we pretty much stayed at 5 seconds until about 2/3rds of the way through the last lap. I opened it up to about 10 seconds by the time I got to the log again which I rode around! Look at the big brain on me!! Anyway he eased up and I nailed down third.

It was a good race and I made the first real mistake and that was it. The great log incident of 2014 is why I didn't race on Sunday....I'm pretty sure I got a mild concussion for my effort...oh well...big risk, big reward...sometimes!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Jingle Cross 2014

courtesy of Yet Another Bike Photo Page

Hmmm...where to start??? How about this...THAT WAS EFFING AWESOME!!!! For the tens of people that read this, if you are not a cyclocross racer this race is the equivalent of Joe Martin...but waaaaaaaaay better because it's CYCLOCROSS!!! 3 days of racing with some fast mutha f@#%as!!

I decided last year I wanted to go to Jingle Cross because the local scene is getting pretty skinny (field size) these days and I wanted to line up with as many crazed CX loonies as possible...this was my best bet so away I went.


We arrive at Mt. Krumpit to find a scene that I've never seen at a CX race...think full on party atmosphere!! In my infinite wisdom I calculated the drive time without pee breaks and stopping for gas, so by the time I was ready to inspect the course, it was about time for the first race to roll. I managed to get about 2/3rds of a lap before the first race went off...oh well...

For this race I was toeing the line on my "new" cx rig...I should have done A LOT more race tuning to this machine...because the shifting went away and the bars rotated down, a little...I don't think I could've done anything different for the bars, I hit a bump bombing down the backside of Mt. Krumpit at speed (25mph+) and that's what caused the slippage but the shifting woes were caused by a loose derailleur hanger and had I done my usual prerace wrench routine I would've caught this....oh well.

Moving on...The week leading up to this weekend I had a mild head cold which started Monday and had me feeling about half run down all week, I was still feeling this way on Friday. Needless to say I felt pretty flat for the entire race on Friday night.

At the call up I was on the 3rd row which I was content with, not DFL by any means. All I had to do was get a good start and life is good...My new rig and I are not on the same page when it comes to getting good starts, I proceeded to miss the pedal about 20 times...what 3rd row starting position?!?! I was not last but that really sucked!!!

Now racing along I can tell this isn't going to be a great race but forge ahead I did. As we hit the climb for the first time, I "run" up it and remount for the scorching fast descent, about half way down I hit hit a bump, this is where the bar was so loud I thought I broke my wheel or frame along with the slippage. The course leveled out and I continue on looking over my bike as I ride and decide that it is okay.

A little while later, maybe a lap and a half...the shifting decides it doesn't want to work...WTF!! I managed to get it to the finish line, 22nd out of 35, and gave the bike a toss...well...more like a drop than a toss...that bike hates me!!! Today (Monday) I decided that I will race that bike as much as possible to get rid of the gremlins. We WILL come to an understanding!!!!!!


After the usual French press, It was time to decide which bike to ride. I decided the Hammer would be my has a flat bar and I would most likely be the only one on the grid with one but it was ready and has never let me down mechanically and I get great starts on Mjolnir!!! I learned a few weeks back that having a pit bike helps eliminate the dreaded DNF. That meant I would have to get the new rig squared away just incase. As I look it over I discovered the culprit to the shifting woes and of course as soon as I remedy that it shifts fine again...good deal I have a bike that will work if I need it.

Since my less than stellar ride didn't get me into the top 16 on Friday, I had to wait but got my same spot on the grid again. At the gun I stomp my pedal and away I go. About 30 seconds later the group was flying down the start strait and I was up against the iron gate barriers coming to a slight left this point I was like oh shit, I'm gonna hook my bar and wad up half the field...fortunately I squeaked by and life was good.

The course was a little different today, it had a LONG climb on it...folks...I am not a climber!!! It's a good thing I decided on the Hammer because I don't think I could've ridden the climb with the 36x27 low on the new rig...but managed it, sort of, with the 34x32 low on the Hammer. Another feature was a LONG sand pit, which was easily rideable due to the freezing temps. The rest of the course was mostly the same with minor changes here and there.

The race wears on and I settle into a rhythm, I felt better on Saturday but still not quite right and managed to finish 22nd out of 45, the biggest field of the weekend. A better day for sure but still off a little.


The weather had forecasted snow for the area starting Saturday evening and Mother Nature did not disappoint!! It started about 3:00 and continued off and on until morning...We awoke to about 3 inches of the white stuff. I wasn't really keen on racing at that point based on how I felt out there the last couple of days...I finally said fuck it...I'm in.

We arrive to find the course cover with snow. I hurry up and get going so I can get a look at the course and get a feel snow on frozen ground...feeling confident in my course inspection...I decide to roll the Hammer again due to another LONG climb and an equally greasy technical descent.

After the call ups, I got my same 3rd row spot on the grid. At the gun I stomp my pedal and away I go. The 1st quarter mile or so was paved and as we got up to speed the roost started flying...this caught me by surprise...but kinda laughed about it once I realized what it was. As we brake for the first turn I was in 15th-ish...and was feeling good. I managed to pass a few here and there to move up close to the top 10 only to give those spots back on the EVER FREAKIN LONG CLIMB!!! With 2 to go, I realize I'm feeling like I wanted to the entire weekend, REALLY GOOD!! So I continue on, going fast when I can and trying to limit the damage on the climb. Which in the end had me 17th on the day out of 32. I was happy to see that because all I really wanted was to crack the top 20 all 3 days...a good note to end on fo sho!!!

So I've had a little time for this to sink in and as I said at the beginning it was a blast!! Did I have the weekend I wanted to have, not really, but that's racing, you can't be great every weekend and I'm good with it, especially on that stage. I do think had I not been sick I would've faired a little better based on how I felt on Sunday. Will I go back, I don't know, I said on Sunday I wouldn't but I've said that before and chances are I will because CYCLOCROSS RULES!!

Before I end this installment, I have to say thanks to the entire 360 race team for allowing me and others to warm up in their heated pop-ups and to John "The Machine" Jones for bringing his pop-up for extra room for the less traveled cx racers such as myself. You guys ROCK!!!


P.S. I will add pics when I find ' was too freaking cold for me to take any!!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I'm still here...

So I see it's been a while since the last post and there are a variety of reasons but mostly I've been uninspired so blogging was put on the back burner.

So a little rewind. After the DK my left knee decided to wig out and my riding came to a screeching halt for the better part of a that month I managed about an hour of trainer time to see if I could ride and of course the answer was HELL NO!!! At this point my march toward CX season was put on hold indefinitely. The plan there was to start build that foundation in July and August and come out swinging in September...needless to say this did not happen.

With a ton of stretching, foam rolling and the like I was able to get out and ride, which was better than nothing but I wanted to put down some power but my knee wouldn't allow "just riding" is what I did until September.

In the "down time" I decided it was time to build a traditional CX machine. Which I did, mostly out of curiosity, I wanted to see if the similar riding position to my road bike would produce more of now the verdict is still out on that one. Here's a pic, It was complete but not dial in by any means...hence the bars being rotated up...

Moving with a new bike and the ability to "train" again I started the march towards a good CX season...I had decent fitness going into this period but zero intensity, so I was a little nervous when it came time to do intervals. To my surprise they weren't as bad as I thought, actually easier than I anticipated!! BONUS!!!

On to the first race of the season the Buffalo Bill CX...

It was either up or down...not good for me and my low fitness level but race I did. The race went ok, I could tell the depth wasn't there but I wasn't disappointed, after all I want to be going good now not back in September!!

The next race was the Oakley Night Cap in Des Moines.

I highly recommend this race to EVERYONE!! I had a good week of training going into this race but still not where I wanted to be...stupid knee!!! Anyway, I had a good ride and managed a 5th, even with a knuckle head t-boning me 3 turns into the race and eating a bug about a minute later...those 2 incidents had me loose contact with 1st and also helped me burn a match or 2 trying to get back to 2nd was fun and I will go back!!

Next up was a race in St Joe.

I knew this race would be tough due to hills but it was a well thought out track and it had 2 sections of single track. Combine that with some mud and you have a good CX course...for skinny people!! Anyway, I managed a good start and got the hole shot because I DID NOT want to be behind anyone going into the singletrack...I ended up 4th on the day, the hills finally beat me down...a good effort nonetheless.

2 days of Joules Cross was next...

These races were a good barometer of where I am compared to some really fast guys...I gotta say I was a little bummed at how I did but was happy at the same time knowing the knee setback will pay off at some point in the near future. Part of my problem was a lot of climbing once again...oh well...I still had decent races on the weekend.

The Colavita/Boulevard CX weekend was up next. On Saturday I scored a big fat DNF...due to my freehub seizing...LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME LAME!!!!!!!!! I was in 3rd at the time and the 3 of us were riding away from the field and I was feeling good!!!

On Sunday I was out for redemption and was going to go blind trying...which I did!! I managed to finally get on the podium in 2nd.

I think I might have been able to fight it out for 1st but I started really hard and kept the hammer down too long and paid for it...oh well...I do it at least once a year!

And finally the GP HPT...

At the gun I got the hole shot, I was a little worried about this because my starts aren't as good on the new cx machine but I managed to get there first anyway. As we entered the dirt track for the first time I eased up and let a guy on a dual suspension mtb that was determined to lead the race take hold of the reins. I got in the draft and recovered.

I decided to follow the mtb through the infield grass because it was technical enough that no one was going to come around but once we hit the dirt track again I drilled it and took the lead. I guess my pace was good enough to ride away from all but one and after one lap there was at least 15 seconds to 3rd and growing.

On to the 3rd lap. I decided it was time for Travis (the guy that finished 2nd) to take up the pace making. At first this was a good idea, but with a few small bobbles here and there and Travis accelerating hard out of the turns it was starting to backfire. A small gap opened up but I managed to close it down before it got too big. At this point I decided I need to be in front and make him race my race.

As we left the dirt track and headed for the steps over the wall Travis kinda fumbled his dismount and I took advantage of it, got back on the front and drilled it. He eventually got back to my wheel but had to earn it. This is the way it stayed until the last lap.

As we entered the dirt track for the last time I kept the pace high enough that he wouldn't come around and protected the inside line on top of that which worked until we hit the last stretch of dirt track that lead to the outside. Travis launched an attack and the drag race was on to the next turn. Initially he got a half a bike on me I grabbed a gear to even it up and once I realized he had no more I clicked 2 more and took the lead again and got to the next turn first.

From then on, about a half lap, I turned the screws and kept the pace high. I knew at that point it was going to be a sprint for the line. As we came to the last complex of turns, I made sure I was in the big ring well in advance of the last turn. Once we hit that it was a head down drag race to the line and I got him by about a half bike length.

I never really suffered until late In the race and that was my doing to make Travis suffer too, even then there was still enough in the tank to get the win!

It's been a while since I've had to race wire to wire, it made the win that much better!!!

That was a lot of you know!!


Monday, June 2, 2014

The Dirty Kanza 2014

Lets see...another year has rolled by and again I went to Emporia to get me 111 miles of Flint Hills gravel. For 2014 the weather was a LOT more cooperative than in 2013...with the exception of the humidity...which I think was 90% all day!! Good thing it was overcast for the majority of my ride and the wind, unlike last year which was howling all day, was 10mph or less all day!! Much praise to the gods of gravel for making this melee a little easier!!

On to the race. Like last year I got up at eat breakfast and get CAFFEINATED!!! Like most riders in this event, I had everything laid out and ready to go to reduce stress on race day. At 5:30, a long time riding buddy, Matt, and I headed out to the start line. As we rounded the corner to Commercial Street pretty much everyone who was doing this race was lined up and ready to go. I decided to make my way through the 200 mile starters and wish good luck to those I knew. Eventually we get to where the half was staging and I decide that I want to be in the front row...I think this was met with a few mean looks but oh well...I didn't want to be at the back of or even in the middle of this group when we turned onto the gravel. When the police pulled off and we hit the gravel I was at the front...SUCCESS!!

Courtesy of Roger Harrison

I sat on the front for a mile or two until Andrew Vontz from San Francisco decided it was time to thin the heard...he came by with a good bit of speed and I wasn't ready to go really fast so I waited. I waited until the voice in my head said go! That was all of about 4 seconds. Shortly after this jump a group of about 12 or so formed and we started a decent rotation, we were rolling along and slowly but surely our group grew to about 20. At this point Andrew suggested that we rotate to the back an let the new blood drive for a bit...which we did.

Not long after we rolled to the back, our group was closing on the back of the 200. I thought to myself this is going to be interesting...but for the most part we picked our way through several good sized groups of the 200 milers and our pace was pretty fast the entire time. At about 30 minutes in I started to think I need a break from this pace...well the gravel gods must've heard me because as we rounded a left, about a half mile or so in the distance was the first real climb and it was covered with 200 milers which meant we were gonna have to pick our way through and consequently slow our roll if only for a minute...HOORAY!!

Once over the top it was a pretty long gradual downhill to the first course split, so I got a good bit of rest from the fast pace. Now at the split a handful of 100 milers apparently can't read and went left instead of right. I didn't say a word, I thought it was funny!!! Anyway...we roll on and once again I'm at the front and climbing...there was one guy up the road about 100 feet, I think he was sort of trying to stay away but it wasn't going to happen. I settled into a rhythm on this climb and fairly close to the top the group started to come by and once again we were all together.

A short time later, at about an hour, I decided it was time to start eating. I had hit the gel flask a few times but I figured it was time for some solid food. So I pull out a homemade protein bar, which are the BOMB, and proceed to try and open the small Ziploc bag its in...we were going pretty fast so riding no hands wasn't an option...well...this Ziploc bag was the fort knox variety because I could NOT get it open!!! So I bite the top and pull, ripping it open...or so I thought...the stretching of the bag before it ripped pretty much sealed it AGAIN!!! WTF!!!!!! At tis point I said screw it and rode no hands on gravel, at speed, for the first time.

SUCCESS!!! I finally pop a chunk of a natural peanut butter based protein bar in my mouth. It was then I realized we were still hauling the mail and I hadn't been breathing enough because my focus was elsewhere and the chunk of bar was too big for me to eat and keep pace...I spit into my hand and ate half and tried to get back to breathing normal...which wasn't really that easy because in the bout with the Ziploc we had reached the bottom of the first long climb. Once I reached the top I regained my composure and life was good again. The fast guys in my group had gapped me but I was slowly gaining on time back on the descents.

When I got to within 10 seconds or so we reached the second long climb which was greasy and muddy!! It was at this point they rolled away again. I settled into a good rhythm and got up it without too much time being lost...they were no more than 1/4 mile up the road. So I pick up the pace again and the gap starts to shrink. About this time a 200 rider who was riding strong with aero bars goes blowing by me. I think that's a good wheel to be on...well about a minute later I reeled him in on a descent and sat on his wheel until I was with my group again.

Now together again and rolling toward the water stop, we have a discussion about stopping for water and that was voted down...I didn't need water but would've liked to fill my bottle. Not a minute later we all stopped for a nature break...hmmm...didn't stop for water but stopped within site of said water to pee...I'm thinkin we could've done both!!!

Moving at the bottom of the longest climb, I remount and settle into my pace ahead of the group. If they catch me, right on, if they go blowing by, they did, then right on. It was here that Josh, a friend of Andrew, and I started the rest of the leg to the checkpoint together because the fast guys were gone!!! A short time later Rusty from Dallas joined us and the 3 of rolled along at a good clip for the next hour and change. About 10 miles from the checkpoint Rusty had a puncture and away we went, down to 2 again. At some point before we got to the pavement that lead to Cottonwood Falls Josh ask how long I was gonna be at the checkpoint. I said 10 minutes and my girlie has a timer to keep me honest!! Josh said he was going to do 10 minutes or less also.

Cottonwood Falls

We roll into the checkpoint at about 3:25:00ish, get our maps, and head to our refueling stations. His support crew was parked about 10 spaces away from where mine was so life was good and we soon rolled out together.

10 minutes later and ready for another 50!

As we rolled out of town we picked up another rider, Gary Irick from Lawrence Kansas who turned out to be a good rider to have with. I'm pretty sure he didn't have a map or any gps but that's okay, I had it covered.

Anyway, the next 25 miles went by pretty uneventfully. At about Mile 80ish my legs started to cramp...I was thinking this is not good!!!! I keep drinking and eating mostly gels at this point and for time being, the cramps didn't get worse. A handful of miles later I decided I needed to stand a bit because my ass said to!! As soon as I did and made one pedal stroke my right leg locked up like it was in a cast!! This really got to me for a minute...I've been riding for a pretty long time and have never had my entire leg cramp all at once and we had at least 20 miles to go. Right about this time, Josh who had been dangling off the back of Gary and I had a puncture and disappeared. I found this out after he finished and we talked about the last 7 hours of our lives.

Anyway...Before I left the hotel I mostly jokingly but a hint of serious told Matt and my girlie that I'm taking a 5 dollar bill incase I get to Americus and need some's a good thing I had this 5 because both of my legs locked up like the first time and I was reduced seated riding. At this point I told Gary I was gonna stop in Americus and get a Gatorade and he was good with it. I told him after that if he wanted to roll on he could, he said no and enjoyed the company. I'm glad he stayed with because he did a lot of work into the wind as we headed south. I would come around every now and again to give him a break. I would rather fall over dead or get shot out the back than not do any's who I am.

The miles slowly but surely went by, my computer was still showing a 17 mph average and the terrain was getting flatter and my pulls were getting a little longer. We hit the pavement into Americus and Gary said he needed water so we were going to stop...HOORAY!!!! I had enough water to get to Emporia and we hadn't really discussed it since I mentioned it the first time so I figured we were going to keep on keepin on...but NO!! So as we roll into the Caseys parking lot I'm wondering if I can even get off my bike without cramping...I did a successful CX dismount without a hint of cramps...this made me happy. We run in and grab water and Gatorade. I slam down as much Gatorade as I can stand and we roll out...about a 3 minute stop.

About 13 miles to go now and I'm still not in a good way but I was taking pulls. About 20 minutes after the pit stop, out of habit I stood and pedaled and didn't cramp, the Gatorade finally kicked in!!! This was EFFING AWESOME!! From that point on I was taking good pulls and we passed at least 4 riders that were on the road ahead of us in the last 10 miles to break into the top 10!!!

As we finally rolled onto Commercial street and the finish line was in site, I told Gary thanks for doing so much work and he could finish ahead of me, he said it was no big deal and I should go ahead. As we rolled down the finish chute, the crowd that had gathered was cheering and for an instant all the suffering of the last few hours was gone...WHAT A GREAT FEELING!!! In the end we crossed the line at the same time. The results show Gary and I with the exact same time 6:50:00 for 7th and 8th.


My goal for this race, like last year was a top 10 with an average speed of 16 mph or faster. I achieved both this year.

In doing so I realized that racing the sun doing the 200 will never happen and I'm 100% good with that!! I asked Matt if he wanted to come back, he said "YES, I didn't know riding gravel could be so much fun"!! I responded to that with I will ride it again with you and follow your wheel all day!! His goal by the way was to reach Cottonwood falls without falling over dead...he made it in a little over 4 hours!! Good ride Matt!!!

As I sat and pondered this morning, the day after, I was a little bummed that it was over and again came to the realization that you can train like "pro", everyone is a pro when they dream, for an event and be "prepared" as one can be only to have the unforeseen take you to the limits of your mental and physical's dark that deep in the cave of pain!!!!

I said this last year and I will say it again...If you want a definite challenge and think 200 is out of your reach, try the Half...I'm 99% sure it will test you to your limits!!!!

So now what? I had spent the last 4+ months working toward this race and now there is no real goal to work towards in the short term. That being said, starting in July, the work for a successful CX campaign will begin. So the month of June will be relatively "lazy" least a week! :)

I love riding my bike!!!!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Building the DK motor... it's been a while since the last post...the reason being, I haven't had much to write about. After the Gods Country TT I didn't have any races on my schedule so it was down to training and getting the motor built for the DK Half, which is what I've been doing.

Like last year I figured I should do at least one gravel ride to make sure my rig is set up to my liking and just to get a feel for riding on gravel. This year is no different, but this year I decided to ride the first leg of the half and maybe the entire course for a couple of reasons. 1. I wanted to ride some gravel and the first leg in the Flint Hills is freakin cool!!! 2. I wanted to make sure my new gps is working and accurate...which it was!

Well...the entire course kinda went out the window by the time I reached the checkpoint...the main reason is I am a GINGY freakin RED HEAD, and I was starting to get cooked from the sun!!! Had I kept going for another 3+ hours I would have been a blistered hatin life I called it good at 60 miles.

The course is the same as 2013. There is a difference for 2014...and that is...the course will be marked sparingly and the use of gps is allowed and probably encouraged. With that in mind I bought a garmin etrex 30 so I wouldn't miss a turn this year. It's funny, the turn I missed last year is the very first right turn you can make after you cross the highway out of Bazaar.

I laughed when I realized this...Doug Chambers and I rode a loooooong way passed this turn...about 11ish miles round trip...this won't be the case this year!!

Anyway, there ya go, now you know. The DK is next weekend and I do believe I'm as ready as I'm gonna be...BRING IT!!!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Gods Country TT 2014

Pic courtesy of Roger Harrison

This post is a bit late mostly because I've been sick and pretty much uninspired to come up with anything worth reading! Anyway...Last weekend was the Gods Country MTB TT...initially it was supposed to be an MTB race but Mr. Locke thought a time trial was a better I look back on it I think it was a good idea too...I've only done one other MTB TT and that was waaaaaaay back in 1996...That's a pretty good story by itself...maybe I'll write about that someday.

I had a good week of riding leading up to this race and since it was on Sunday I decided to take Friday off and do my openers on Saturday. Well...that went down the tubes when I woke up on Saturday with a sore throat and a sinus infection...LAME!!!! So no ride Friday or Saturday and not racing on Sunday was starting to look like the path I was on.

As I was a waste of space on Saturday I decided that I was gonna race health be damned...I had already reg'd online and picked up my packet...I'M IN!! To add insult to injury...I woke up on Sunday to find that it had snowed over night...Mother Nature hates MTB'ers!!!!

The race was fun and I had an okay ride...I had pretty low expectations based on the others in my field and the fact I was illin...anyway...the main goal was to finish without being caught. I was 4th off the line with some fast guys in front of me and several more behind me...I roll down the trail at a good pace and for 8 and a half miles I held off the riders behind was then I looked back and two were gaining on me quickly. I "drill" it and held them off for another half mile and finally had to let them by...oh I said before, it was fun!!!

I rolled across the line 4th in class and 9th overall...not bad!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring fling 2...2014

Courtesy of Roger Harrison

I planned on doing a couple of early season crits this year and this past Saturday was my second race of the year. The goal of these races was to build fitness and have fun...well as much fun as one can have suffering! Since the weather has changed for the "better" I have gotten some decent riding/training in so I felt pretty good going into this melee.

Anyway...the race was pretty hard, we averaged at least 25 mph and lots of attacks went up the road at an all to frequent occurrence!! From the gun team Evoke from Oklahoma, who had 4 rider in the field, attacked...the pic above is of the first lap and I'm trying to keep the Evoke rider from riding took nearly 3 laps for the field to bring him soon as we did, either one of his teammates or someone else jumped. I managed to jump across to a few small in particular, I think, had a good shot at staying away for a bit but the rotation never got organized and we were quickly swept up by the field.

As the race went on so did the about 3 to go my lack of fitness was finally taking it's toll...I was holding on for dear life. With about a half lap to go I blew up into a bazillion itty bitty pieces and more or less rolled across the line.

I'm pretty happy with how I rode and probably wouldn't have done anything different. It's March and I don't have any real racing agenda til CX season...this race is just one of the many stepping stones to there.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014...A new Beginning...

All pics courtesy of Roger Harrison!

So this year I decided to leave the Bicycle Shack and ride for Boulevard again. There are a few reasons but the main one is I needed a change in scenery. Also Boulevard isn't dedicated solely to the road scene...they also like to play in the dirt, mud and sand, also known as CYCLOCROSS!!!! Which I'm all about these if you didn't already know this.

Anyway, the first race of the season has come to pass and this year it was on my birthday, which would normally mean cold and crappy conditions, but not this year!! By the time I had left it was 60+ degrees and sunny, an epic February day to say the least!!

Moving on, when I arrived at the venue it didn't really hit me or bother me that I was racing on a different team...that came when I was warming up and really got me when the race started...I gotta say it was a bit unsettling to say the least.

On to the race...there's not much to say about it. I'm not targeting any particular race to train for until CX season rolls around, that being said, my fitness was okay and I didn't suffer horribly...anyway...As I was warming up 2 riders from a Team Undiscovered were warming up and I say to my long time racing buddy, "one of those 2 guys will win today" and of course I was right.

The race was pretty hard from the gun as the aforementioned riders took turns beating on the field. Each time they would attack a small group of 4-5 riders would from behind and he would sit up...I bridged up to a couple of these moves early in the race only to find that the anchor had been tossed out on the road and we would be reeled back in soon thereafter.

After about 20 minutes of continuous attacks, one more went and it was then the rest of the field was good with racing for 2nd...I have said this before...I don't understand why this is a good thing...the field could have easily brought this guy back...but no. I guess I shouldn't complain because I didn't take up the chase, but would have gladly helped if it came down to it...oh well...that's racing.

A parting shot flying the Shack colors during my warmup...