Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Break

This Thanksgiving was supposed to be spent with my mom, but she decided she was not able to come up to Kansas City. Some things never change. The question is, should I expect them to? Enough about that. Nothing I can do but move on....

Well I have 5 days off. What to do? First up, head to Swope Park and try out some new trails. I have heard some good things about Swope and was eager to try them out for myself. I ended up meeting Rich Anderson, JP and his daughter Karen. JP and crew were sporting new 29er hard tails. They looked sweet. Good ole Rich is back riding after his surgery and by th
e looks of things he has not lost any of his "Skills". Watch out for him once he gets his fitness back. As for the trails, they were nice. I was still getting used to being back on my MTB after a season of cross so I was not flowing too well. I plan to ride them again Sunday with Christopher and should be able to judge them better.

Thanksgiving Day was Gerard's 20th Annual Thanksgiving Day MTB Ride. He started this tradition back in Pennsylvania and has kept it going. A good group of guys showed up for a rather chilly start including several Cow Towners, Lawrence MTB members, Telford and Rasta Rider. We quickly broke into several ability groups based on ability level. Christopher and I ended up riding alone for most of the ride, but we mixed in with several other groups in route to the Clinton Skills Loop. Christopher and the others looked like they were having fun riding the teeter totters and boards. I will tell you up front that I can not ride anything slow. I need speed to clear any technical stuff. The trails out at Clinton Lake were in very good shape especially with some new trail work done by Mike Goodwin and friends. If you have not been out to Clinton recently you should make the trip. Well worth it.

The annual Black Friday MTB ride was up next. While Carolynn and Christopher were out the door early to hit the sales, I hit the Landahl MTB trails with Rich Anderson, Mark Krause and Brian Prosser. The trails were in great shape. It had been awhile since I had ridden them and it was a blast. I got out there a little early to warm-up and adjust my bike. Still playing with the set-up but it is getting better. The group rode for
about 2 hours and we basically hit every trail at Landahl. On the technical trails Rich or Brian took the lead. Those guys are good and I like learning from others. It was fun riding with everyone. Be sure to put the Black Friday MTB ride on your calendar for next year. I ended up getting in an extra hour of riding after everyone else headed home. On my post cool down ride I ran into Aaron Browning. We chatted about the new section that he had just flagged. Looks like more technical stuff to come out at Landahl.

Saturday was a great day spent alone with Carolynn including our first tandem ride since the Ride the Rockies ride back in June. I can not believe we were able to ride in shorts and short sleeve jerseys just 4 days from December. I think I actually got a sunburn....

Sunday the weather is heading South and I will be following her down as we hit both the Swope and BuRB trails. Christopher
needs to break in his new ride. I was able to get his new Anthem built up that he got from The Wheel Cyclery. He now fits a 16" frame very nicely. Included in the build is a very sweet Crank Brothers bottom bracket as his old one was totally shot, a set of Maxxis Advantage UST tires and and new chain. Hopefully he will get at least a year out of it, but at the rate he is growing this year I doubt it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Haven's Wooded Trail 5K Race Report

The Haven's Wooded Trail 5K promised muddy shoes, mud pits, logs, obstacles and awards for the top three in each division. I guess 4 our of 5 is not that bad....

Christopher and I took a break from repairing the USM course (we got there extra early to get started with Damian) and heading over to participate in this first annual event held at the ultra hilly Haven's Park in Leavenworth Kansas. When I say hilly I mean it. Neither of us are much in the way of runners, but we both enjoy the woods and getting dirty.

The race started with an uphill start. I lined up on the front row for some odd reason. As I looked back at the 60 or so other participants and their skinny selves I should have just walked to the end of the line and saved myself the embarrassment. Knowing full well that my body does not climb well. However, when the starting gun sounded I shot to the lead with the full intent to use my body mass to keep everyone behind me in the trail. Only problem was there was not single track trails, just hilly double track roads with plenty of room to pass. To my amazement, I actually lead up not only the first hill, but the next two as we reach the top of Haven's Mountain. At this point a couple of those skinny runners came by, but not as fast as I expected. I think all intensity of racing cyclocross this past 6 weeks has started to pay off....

Christopher beginning of his race did not go as well as mine He started in 3rd and fell back to close to 50th place by the top of that first climb. He was a little discouraged, but did not give up and slowly started to pass some other runners, namely the 50 year old lady who he really wanted to beat. She was a stealthy elder runner with plenty of years of experience on Christopher, but he had youth on his side. At least that is what he kept telling himself....

As we approached mile 2 I had fallen back to around 10th place, but I still felt good and started to bring back some of the guys who went out to fast and passed me earlier. One of those runners was my old friend John Schlesselman. I was happy to pass him back because he is a solid runner and usually runs faster than myself. As we approached one of the steeper washed out trail sections, I picked off a couple more guys as they opted to use the ropes for safety. I threw safety out the window and just ran like old Good Ben would down hill - WFO. Ben you would have been proud of me. I could see the leader up ahead of me as we approached the end of mile 2. This is were things went south for all but a few of the leaders. Most of us missed this turnoff and kept running down this road. I for one never saw any signs and there was no one there to direct us. There we were were running lost in the woods. We finally came upon a volunteer and ask where the course went. She was really no help so I just ran back along part of the course that was already used in the first section of the run. This brought us back toward the finish. At this time we had already ran well past the 5K distance so we went to the finish where it was a little disorganized with runners finishing in both directions. Kind of funny when you look back on it, but also very frustrating. I ended up getting 2nd in the Male 40-44 division and 7th overall. The sad part is that the guy who I passed earlier on (#45 in the picture in the picture on the right - pics by Mr. Harrison) won the overall and my age-group. He knew Haven's Park and found the right course and finished with the winning time. I found this on Garmin Connect - Haven's Wooded Trail 5K Course. Looks like lysernix got lost also....

Christopher finished in 40th place overall so he picked off a dozen or so runners. Not bad for a kid who does not run at all and as big ole feet the size of swimming fins (size 45 already). Maybe he should take up swimming with those things. He could be the next Ian Thorpe if his feet continue to grow.

We were going to stay and pickup my award for my age-group, but we were told that only 1st place would be getting awards. I am looking at the flyer now and it says "top three finishers in each 5 year age category". I hate when that happens.....

After the event we headed back to the University of Saint Mary to help Dave, Mark, JP and everyone else work on the course. We got a lot done and things look much better. Still need to pay USM another visit or two, but everything should be back to normal by early next spring. More on the repair later.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Junior Stuff for Sale

Christopher has outgrown the following items. All items are in great shape. If you are interested let me know.


Dry-Star undershirt 8/10
Winter tights small
Dry-Star tights med (runs very small)
Surly wool jersey med (fits small rider)
Sugoi XS tights
Asics tights medium
Kucharik medium
Sugoi tights medium (with reflective strips)
Russell undershirt youth large
Arm warmers small (will nice flames).

Christopher's cyclocross bike (48 cm) is also available. He has one more event to race (Missouri States). More details available if you are interested.

Thank you,

chrisdlocke at

Monday, November 16, 2009

De Stad Cross Cup Mud Fest

Well everyone finally got the mud they had been hoping for. On some riders I could not tell if that grin on their faces was a smile or pure agony.

I like the mud very much and usually do very well in it. Christopher loves the slimy conditions even more and showed it today. He had an awesome ride. After a slow start, he slowly picked his way up to the lead. I was very proud of him most importantly because he really tried. The kid was on the edge all day with snot and mud streaming off his face. He took home the Junior title today.

My race was fun. Did not have the legs to keep up with the leaders, but I did hang with some of the Men's Open guys on my single speed. I didn't have time to pre-ride the course because I was repairing the course and then I was running around looking for Christopher after his race because he wore my shoes (the kid already has a size 11 shoe). First lap was spent getting used to the course. Still did o.k. and kept Songer the leaders in site. After that I was losing my focus and couldn't enjoy the event because I knew there was going to be a lot of work to be done cleaning up after this one.

Here are some photos:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

De Stad Course Map

The Cross Guru was out finalizing the course yesterday in the dark. Hopefully he was able to find a smooth path but he does not guarantee it. Depending on weather conditions this course could be very interesting.

Key features: Mount De Stad should be a run-up for all except those with billy goat genes. The exit of Roger's Revenge has a nice little off-camber section on the climb back up. Those that can ride it will be at a great advantage. Butt'r Alley along the pond could be muddy if it rains. Bring the big chainring for the cobble road sections. Cow Town barriers will be in place right before the finish line stretch. Spiral of Despair moves to a new location with a faster approach. One to three dismounts depending on your ability level.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veterans Cross Race Report

This years cyclocross season has really flown by. Only a hand full of races left after today's Veterans Cyclocross. One side of me is bummed that only 3 more races are left on my calendar. The other side is very happy because my cyclocross season has not gone the way I would have liked it. Today's race was in the middle...

Yesterday was spent helping Roger and his Renaissance Cycling team setup for the Veterans Cross a the University of Saint Mary. Roger wanted to design his own course and put in a few special features. As you can see by the photo on the right, Roger was a lot of help. None the less, things went quickly and we were done before noon. I headed home to finish working on the bikes and watch some college football. My Gators got R done, but their win over Vanderbilt was not pretty.

We finished setting up everything in about 3 hours this morning. All there was to do for about 4 hours is wait for my start time at 1:00pm. I almost signed up for the Masters just so I would not have to wait around so long, but I only had my single speed and I really did not want to experience that much pain today. The course was hilly and rough and racing the beast for 50 min was enough.

I took some pictures while I was waiting and cheered on Christoper. Carolynn was not feeling well and opted to sit out this one. Christopher has had about as good a cyclocross season as I. He finished in 6th on the day. Enough to keep him in the points lead, but just barely. Hopefully the weather will be a little cooler for him at the De Stad Cup. I know the course will be a lot less hilly and will suite him better.

Finally it was time for me to race. I did a couple of laps for warm-up and thought I had some good legs. The whistle soon sounded and we were off. I got into the lead, but did not press the pace and soon Steve Songer and Matt Gilhousen went by. I settled behind them until the first barrier section. After I remounted I had some good momentum going up that first hill and shot back into the lead. This lasted about 4 corners as Songer and Matt were back on the next climb. Their pace was fast, but they both slowed down in the new single track down hill section that Roger put in. I went back by them both and into the lead again. Are you guys keeping track. That makes 3 lead changes. Songer got by again and I decided to stick to his wheel. On one of the tight corners coming back up from the little dam, he slid out and I just about t-boned him. I thought for a second there that he rolled a tire, but that was wishful thinking :-). Here I go again back into the lead. Only this time I didn't to lead because of the windy conditions coming back to the finish. I settled behind Steve and Matt with Theodore close behind in fourth. By this time we opened a good gap on the rest of the single speed field and was actually closing in on the tail end of the Men's Open field. Something happened to Matt's bike during the next couple of laps and he soon fell off the pace. By this time Songer had checked out (he is a machine this season) and that left Theodore and I to decide who would take 2nd on the day. We went back and forth a couple of more times until my legs were gone. Theordore opened up a nice gap on me as I settled in for 3rd on the day. Fun racing today for sure!

Here are some pictures that Carolynn and I took today. I hope you all enjoy them. We promise that we will have a good camera for next season :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tug Uglies Take the Title

This weekend was the annual Stowers Institute family picnic. The last two years the event was held at Worlds of Fun, but this year the event was moved to the Faulkner Pumpkin Farm and Ranch. A very cool place to have a large party or such.....Christopher had a great time. At first I thought he would not want to go, but in the end we couldn't even get him to leave. He had a ball on the 4 wheel pedal vehicles.....Speaking of little Christopher, check out the photo from Saturday. He is officially taller than his mother now. And darn proud of it.

Highlight of the pinic was the Tug-A-War competition. The IT group at Stowers formed the six man team called the "Tug Uglies". After a week of training and studying video we were ready for Saturday's big show down. Luckily we got a first round bye as the number one seed in the competition. When it came down to our first pull I was actually very surprised at how hard it was. As you can see be the below video's, I am not too graceful on my feet, but I do get the job done. End result was a big win by the Tug Uglies. For trophies we got 2 lb hand weights and a sweet gift card from Target. Second place got a protein powder and power bars for their award.

The Tug Uglies in action: