Monday, October 31, 2011

Double CX in Utah

Interesting Phenomena the Double CX weekend in Utah, almost 500 racers Saturday, about half as many Sunday. Commitment check everyone, come on.....

I dressed up for Saturdays SS race, luckily no one got good photo evidence of my hotness, so it will just have to be stuff of legend. I was still not feeling 100%, but i got a good start in 2nd wheel, Rico kept playing with us for half the race, stopping by the side of the trail, trying to pull me back to the group, etc.... I picked of someone halfway through the race and stayed in that position. 6th Place. One more lap I may have been able to move up a place.

Saturday night Lyna went a watched Real Salt Lake Dominate Seattle, good fun.

Sunday started with some good soreness. I set up the team camp with help and got in 1 lap of the course and then warmed up on the trainer. The Single Speed field was about the same size as the day before, with a slightly different cast of characters. Mikey got the hole shot, followed by Jay and I, into the sand, Jay dabs and Mikey gets a gap. Jay and I stick together for a bit, On lap 2 I go to the front of Mikey and we trade the lead a few times, later Chris comes around and puts in quite a gap, for the rest of the race, until the final lap (4) i was mostly alone, with glimpses of jay every now and then. On lap 4 he was closing on me. Coming up the hill by the bridge he was right with me, so i just went hard enough and then by the bathroom put the hammer down for the sprint. Ok, not so much a hammer. I barely held him off, maybe half a wheel, ouch, that hurt. He had a bit less gear inches than me which made it harder for him to get through that sand and harder for me to hold him off in our sprint. Dang that hurt, a lot. I like finishing with large gaps between me and others, so i can coast.

Lyna had a great weekend of racing again.

5th on Saturday after her normal anti aggressive start in the back of the pack.

3rd on Sunday after a bit more assertive a start (we discussed how important the start is at length Saturday on the way to the game) and stopping on the last lap to help Gigi get on her bike.

I'm a bit sore again, but it was too much fun.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am quite ignorant, stupid, obsessive, etc......

But I have fun.....

Last week was a quick 2 nighter to NYC for Executive project reviews. I didn't even get to go for a nice dinner in the village or to magnolias, cause the day I coulda, I felt like crap and slept from the time i left the office till 8, Had some soup and went back to sleep. I did watch how to train your dragon. Felt better on Thursday am, met with execs, headed to JFK and got to sit on a plane for 5 hours. Got home, not feeling great, decided to sleep in Friday, felt better.

this is getting familiar sounding.

Friday evening I headed to Wheeler Historic farm and helped the UTCX crew remove goatheads from large portions of the course. It was fun hanging out with Matt, Seth, Bryson and others. I then decided I should head down to Merkin Fark to support Josh and his fledgling CX series. I was coughing a bit, but not too bad and I figured a good hard effort would blow the lungs out for Saturdays UTCX race.

Well the turn out was a bit small, only 2 B racers so they combined with the A's and we had 12 at the start, which was 9:30 PM. I was riding my geared bike, which I had just set up as a 1x9. The course was short, @5 minute lap times. A set of 4 Barriers, A single barrier and a run up per lap. This was not a good thing for me in the long 'run'.

I got a mid pack start and just tried to keep it steady. The 4 pack barriers ate y lunch the whole time. The longer straight aways helped me keep my placing. Adam flatted, Rick Flatted and Mark faded. And the 3 or 4 ahead me, after @30 minutes never gapped me more or never came back, so I was mostly alone, 3 laps to go, Mark was on my wheel, so I musta faded a bit, so i punched it a bit and gapped him again. Not sure where I place, I think 5th, no matter, I blew my lungs out. Post race I finally met the Rabid clan, face to face, which is always fun/awkward, right :) I then went to the truck to change and had a painful coughing fit. Oh great......

Of note is the fact we did 11 laps, 3 dismounts per lap, ouch, my legs were fried.

Got home @11:45. showered, went to bed, up and at em early Saturday for a Cross out Cancer at Wheeler Farm.

This event is about more than Cyclocross, it raises money for Cancer research (It also raises money for Livestrong, but I have a serious problem with Livestrong, I know they do good, but I think they also confuse their For Profit arm with their non profit arm, on purpose) So The Huntsman Cancer Foundation is my go to charity.

Huge Turnout at Wheeler farm, I set up the Team tent and basecamp near the start finish. My legs were super sore form the 33 dismounts the night before, so I set up my trainer and get a good warm up in. I talk Steven into letting the Single Speed category start before the B's, since we usually pass all but the top 5 B's every race and there were 50+ of them and only 20 or so of us. I am 4th in the series so i get a good call up and a good start, running, um 4th. Jess comes around me and a nopther rider on lap one and we are 4-6. Jess gets a bit slower in the tech stuff, so other rider and I get around him quickly.

I love the wheeler course, fast, fun singletrack, a sand section, that some can't ride, this year there is a downed tree at the end of that section, mandatory dismount for most, and it hurt a lot.

We did only 4 laps, casue the course was pretty long, half way through the race, Daren and Boffeli (who was riding his MTB and clearing that damned log) get by me and i am barely hanging on. I end up 8th and hold onto my 4th overall.

Lyna had a great race for 6th in the B women riding her MTB on a course that contrary to popular belief does not play to a MTB well.

Spent the rest of the day heckling and helping the crew break camp.

I was super beat, but Lyna and I then went to the Real Salt Lake game, which was fun.

Sunday was a planned team ride on the Mill D loop of the Wasatch Crest. Lyna, Jen, Sally, Erika, Shannon, Ken, Jake and I. I felt like crap at the start, of course, but kept going, slowly. The ride was awesome. very little mud, some snow, giggly good times. Likely the last Crest ride till July of 2012.

Sunday evening Lyna and I went to her co-workers apt for some Sri Lankan food, mmmmmmmm good.

I am beat, still sick and really, I don't care, it 3was a fun, Very Full weekend.

Next weekend is a Double CX weekend at wheeler, I hope to feel better before then.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh, it seems to be travel season again. And Cyclocross.

Last week I started the annual Fall work travel season, with a trip to Norwood, Ma. Haven't been to Norwood in like 5 years, it hasn't changed. Chose to fly into PVD instead of BOS, brilliant planning, small easy interstate access airport. Yet, the travel from the gate to the rental car counter was a very........... long.............. trip............. alas, got my Ford Focus and headed north to Norwood, I stayed the last noight of the trip at a hotel right next to PVD, as I had a 6am flight. Luckily, my high school best friend lives in Providence with his wife and kids, and we ended up meeting for dinner. Ironies of ironies is that when we were figuring out where to meet, he asked if i drove under the sky bridge to find my hotel, I said, of course, that freaking long ass one?? He said, 'I designed that' (he is an architect) Of course he did :) It was great catching up with him, hadn't seen him in about 15 years.

So i got home around 1pm Friday, and went to sleep. Lyna got home from work, sick, so she was out for the Weber Fairgrounds CX race.

I skipped Weber Fairgrounds last year, I may have been out of town, but didn't lament it. Some people claim it to be their favorite. I don't hate it, but the long straights are not great for me in general, and then add that to racing single speed and i am usually suffering for back o pack there.

I got a good start into the first corners and settled into the top 8 or so, the first section is twisty with lot of wide 180's, braking is not required usually here, but in a tight group, well, they brake, you brake. 1st log is easy to clear without a dismoutn, quikcly followed by a triple log, that is a required dismount for 99.9% of us. Then ther is a bunch more twisty's followed by a log that is easy to think you can jump it. Ryan A cleared it on lap one, Bo P tried right in front of me and didn't (he went on to win) So, i had a log, Bo and Bo's bike to clear, which i did. The lap was short (Actually all but 2 of my laps were either 6:26 or 6:25)

Chris C., Nate D. and I then traded spots for a few laps, till I put a small gap on them, I then made my way through several B's until Cody H and Jay B were a few turns ahead. Never was able to catch them though and endd up 6th, which for me, on that course, is good.

Sunday was a Team ride up PC way. Up Armstrong, over Mid Mountain Down Ambush, Rob' sad Rosebud, it was prime colors and conditions.

Tomorrow Evening I fly back east for a few days, NYC this time, great.

Saturday is the 2nd annual CX out Cancer at wheeler farm. Rabid, they even have a 5k before the Bike racing begins. Go here to donate to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Speaking of Rabid, she sent a care package to my office.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Fitness?????

So after last weeks MTB/CX race double I didn't ride a bike until a brief outing with Lyna on Friday evening. Inside ones head, one thinks, I must ride to race, but insides ones soul one realizes, rest+cookies+movies=faster. It does, honest.

So Fort Buenventura is by far my favorite UTCX course . I have always had good results there, partially due to the technical nature of the course, twisty, turny and rocky and usually muddy or icy. Good times. Good enough that when late Friday evening I found the 2nd pair of pedals that had not been sent back to Crank Brothers for a spa treatment, and discovered my geared CX bikes tires held air, i hatched a downright stupid scheme.

I shall race twice.

1st being my usual SS race at 11:15. Followed by the 35+A race at 1:45.

I planned on not warming up and taking it kinda easy in the SS race so I'd have something left to a. heckle the women's races. 2. Race in the A group

In the SS race I was about 10th going into the 3rd turn, and then proceeded to pick people off one by one on the first lap. Cody H and I traded back and forth for a bit with Chris C close as well. I rode the river of Sand section 3 of the 5 times through only running it on lap 2 when i took a bad line and lap 5 when i lost the ability to think. Riding it was probably slower than running, but conserved massive energy. I felt like i was cruising over the barriers and hammering out of the 35,000 corners. In the end I took 4th, behind 3 guys who regularly crush the field. I also caught all but the top 8 of the B's who started a minute up. All without much of a warmup. But I did bury myself a few times, which is foreshadowing....

I then proceeded to heckle the ladies, mostly Mama T, I don't heckle Lyna, cause that wouldn't go well. SPeaking of Lyna, she had a great race, taking 3rd in B women. The winner was way off the front, halfway through the A's and the 2nd place was a few seconds up.

So, I line up with the 35+a's, no points, means back of pack start, which means being delayed around corners, after the 1st lap shake out I pass a few people and settle in. 25 or so minutes in, I start to gain on a few groups (who ended up being 6th-10th place), Then at about 35 minutes in, My system shuts down, I was able to fake it for a few more laps, but by the end I was crawling, walking the barriers and ended up DFL.

A double CX day isn't a bad idea, however when the first race is 40 minutes and you bury yourself, the 2nd, 60 minute race, likely won't go as well. Actually 4 laps into the 35+ A race the announcers said '5 Laps to go' and all I could think was 'we only did 5 laps in the SS race!!!!!'

Oh well, it'll make me faster, or not.

Grizz made a video, I'm in it a few times. Check it here.

Sunday, Ty-Bo and I did a 55 mile MTB ride, 4.5 hours, Well 40 of it was the ride to and from the trail head, but still. We met up with Lyna, Sally, Jen, Shannon and E-Pow in Draper and ripped some trail. My legs are shot.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Whoaaaa, Heyyyy

(photo stolen from

I actually raced my bicycle this past weekend. In fact, I did it twice, or 4 times, dependent on your perspective.

The last month or so have been full of giggle rides, Alpine fun, night rides, etc... Oh a trip to London thrown in between.

So my good friend Jen and her buddy Jo planned on doing the 6 hours of frog Hollow race, so we finally talked Shannon into doing it Duo with me.

Shannon and I drove down together after my Thursday night dead battery and his Friday am bike rack incidents.

We got to the base camp near Virgin at @ 6:30. Jen and Jo had just finished a pre -ride, we set up camp, talked a bit and went to bed. Slept pretty well in the back of the truck, which was nice.

Shannon went first, since he wanted to ride on the same lap as Jen, so Jo and I hung out for a bit, then went and warmed up, Shannon had a rough first lap, but recovered enough to come in with only 3 people in front of him, I took off and passed one of them (newby) on the climb, had a blast and pulled out a lap time that ended up being the fastest on the day, totally unexpected.

Shannon passe the other 2 people on his 2nd lap (1 duo team and 1 solo) and from there we just kept rolling and growing the gap, we ended up as the fastest team, the only team close was a Duo coed team who ended up @17 minutes behind us.

Even better as the fact that Jen and Jo crushed it for the W in Duo women, Jen had the fastest female lap and Jo recovered from a 1st lap mechanical which had her running the last 1/2 mile.

Super fun day.

Afterwards, we collected our winnings, packed up and headed north. 4 hours in the car post race made for sore bones and muscles when I arrived home.

Lyna worked the UTCX registration table all day and still managed to pull off 4th in a strong Women's B group.

Sunday Morning came too early, I packed back up and headed to UTCX #2. I raced the single speed race, had a bad start a not so bad middle and end, but had no power available. I did keep it upright and had 'fun' and got myself some season points. Now i am tired and ready to sleep.

The best part of the weekend, as always, was hanging out with the community, seeing people from near and far, heckling, laughing and suffering together.

rough life we lead.