Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cross Off the Old Year Race Report

Today Christopher and I decided to skip snow skiing up at Snow Creek and instead head over to Shawnee, Kansas for round #5 of the series60cx series. The final race of the year so named Cross off the Old Year Race.

Conditions were a bit cold but nothing to bad. The course was a big loop around Stump Park with two little out back sections to add some length. One dismount comprised of a couple of hay bales and another section of heavy snow that you had a 50/50 chance of making depending on if any one else was in front of you. Most of the course was packed snow with some mud and ice which is what you would expect for this time of year. Ice buildup on your bike and wheels were a little problem today. Check out Roger's photos for more pics.

I wanted to get a lap or two in to warm up, but only got a 1/2 lap in before Christopher was yelling at me telling me they were calling my name to line up. When I got there I was in back of the Cat 3 field. They had us lined up on the side walk to start which meant that we were two or three abreast going as we started with not much area to pass in. Nothing much to do except follow and wait for an opening or for someone to make a mistake.

First lap was spent trying to bridge up to the leaders, keep the frozen ice off my 'chops' and salvage my race. I extended myself a little to much and in hind site should have just ridden my own race the entire way instead of pushing so hard on the first lap. Especially with the lack of any hard efforts as of late. I settled in and slowly picked off riders until I got up to 4th place. I could see 2nd and 3rd just a few seconds up. Chris Hersey had checked out and was on his way to another win (someone should upgrade this guy :-)). I started to feel better towards the end of the race and if the race distance was the normal 40 - 45 min maybe I could have reached the podium.

My Ritchey tires and Crank Brothers eggbeaters worked great today. I talked to several rides who were having problems with ice buildup on their pedals. Everyone of them had another brand. I am just saying.... The old Jack the Snake was not that bad either. I made some adjustments after the Missouri State CX and felt much better on her. Now I just need to stop skiing, eating and drinking so much. On second thought, is winning that important? Yes Carolynn, I will have another beer........

Fun racing in the snow and a good workout. Thank you to Mark, Mike and everyone else involved in today's race. It is nice to have opportunities this time of year to race our bikes. Might hit the next round on Sunday or we might head to Snow Creek to practice skiing some more. The family is planning to head to Colorado for some Spring skiing or to the Grand Canyon in March. I need all the practice I can get. If you ever want a good laugh come check me out skiing. I am the dude who looks like he is 95 years old skiing as 5 year old's come flying by....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009 Year in Review

I've always liked this time of year. Time to reflect over the past year. Overall 2009 was a good year that created many good memories.

The Good:

The Bad:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Smart or Lazy?

Christopher is home on Christmas break. He needed something to do to keep busy and earn some money to buy more Xbox games. I refuse to buy him any. I think those video games are just as bad as dope. Kids get addicted to them and all they want to do is stare at a screen and play with a controller. I regret ever allowing him to get one in the first place. But I digress....

So I give him a job which was to transport all the race equipment that we had left over from this years cross season from the garage to the shed out back. It was a large pile - taking up 1/2 the garage, and I estimated that it would take him 2 days to complete it. If he completed the work and did a good job I would pay him $100.00.

I get a call from him today, two hours after he began the job, tell me that the work has been completed and can we go to Game Stop tonight to buy a new game with his newly earned cash. I asked how he did it so fast. He said it was easy. He rounded up all the kids in the neighborhood, borrowed some wheel barrels and had the kids do all the work. My question is, is this smart of him or is he just lazy? Should I pay him or the kids who actually did the work?

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Year's Day Ride

New Year's Day Ride
: Every year on New Year's Day
Time: 12:00 Noon.
Description: This was the inaugural ride of the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club in 1996. Rain, snow, cold — it doesn't matter, we always start the year off by going for a ride at the River Trail then having refreshments at Johnny's Tavern. The New Year's Day Ride is appropriate for riders of all abilities. We begin the ride on the levy and ride to the River Trail where you may opt to ride as much or little of the 9 mile trail as you like before heading back to Johnny’s!
Location: Meet in the parking lot accross from the Lawrence Visitors Center (Restored Union Pacific Depot) in North Lawrence at the intersection of N. 2nd Street (Mass St.) and Locust Streets, just north of the river.

More info:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gravel Grinders

It is winter time and that means one thing besides freezing your butt off here in the Midwest. Guru's Gravel Grinder series. Time to hit the lesser traveled roads and put in some serious base miles for 2010. Many of those roads will be gravel hence the name Gravel Grinders. The first three dates are set. We are also working on a gravel road race for February so stay tuned. As we progress through the winter the rides will become longer. Come join in the fun.

Here is our new blog: Gravel Grinders

GGG Dates:

#1 12/20/09 - Riverside, MO
#2 12/26/09 - Smithville, MO
#3 01/02/10 - Baldwin City, KS

Here is the info on GGG #1:

What: Guru Gravel Grinder #1
When: Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 10:00 am start time
Where: Start at E.H. Young Riverfront Park, Riverside MO
Who: Any and all are welcome
Why: Because there is way too much pavement in the world

Route: A mix of gravel, levee and back country roads. Mostly road, but plenty of gravel to keep us sane. Some hills will be climbed. You will experience some discomfort depending on pace. We will try and stay off any high traffic roads. Any road bike with a good sturdy set of wheels can be used. Cross bike preferred, but not required. Distance from E. H. Young is about 38 miles.

This is a Show-N-Go ride, please bring food/water and anything you require.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ouachita Challenge Here I Come

I needed some motivation to train so I got up early this a.m. to sign up for the 2010 Ouachita Challenge. Entry is limited to only 275 spots for the race and it will fill up fast. The Ouachita Cycling Club does a great job with the event and they always have the best rest stops. Maybe this year I will stop and enjoy them some. For the past two years Carolynn has been at each stop with our own food. I think this year will be a time to enjoy the event and trails a little more. It is not like I will be on the podium or anything with the likes of this guys/gals showing up.

Last year I raced the single speed division on a Haro Mary SS Rigid. It handled great on smooth single track, but on sections like Blowout Mountain it about killed me. The downhills on a rigid are the worst. I can still feel the fatigue and numbness in my arms from last year. I found some good YouTube videos from last year bu Amdreatdg - OC on Video.

Still unsure what bike I will ride this year, but I am sure it will have gears and at least a front suspension. I will also change my race day diet. Last year I experimented with an all liquid diet which required that I not eat anything prior to the race. I did use this same product in training with good results, but the distance and intensity was not the same. Plus, sometimes you just need some solid food in your stomach.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Missouri State Cyclocross Championships

The 2009 Missouri State Cyclocross Champions were again held in Hermann, Missouri. Jeff Yielding and crew did a nice job again with the state championships. As you would expect for December, the weather played a part in the course. Conditions early on were good when the ground was frozen. After the first race the conditions changed and by my noon start time for the Masters is was a slippery mess.

After a couple of weeks of very poor training, I was not actually going to go, but I decide to go support Jeff's event since he came over to support the De Stad series several times this year. Early Sunday morning I heading to pick up Chris Hudson and Chris Thomas. Because of this, I decided to just take one bike and only race the masters. If I would have know that we would have made it in time for the 10:00 am Single Speed start time I would have brought my single speed, but I ended up only racing the Masters 40+ on my old Jake the Snake.

My race was nothing special by any means. Form is way off and I was just not dialed into the Snake on the slippery course. My type of conditions are wet soupy mud. If it is raining all the better. The ground under the mud was still a little frozen and made for a traction less ride. Plenty of crashes and near slide outs. End results after my effort was a 7th. Not really how I wanted to end my season. If I feel better by next weekend I will head to the Barnyard Cross in Manhattan. Otherwise, I am done for the year.

Results can be found at MO CX Results

Some pictures of the SS, Cat 4 Men, Juniors and Open Women below.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Christopher

Happy Birthday Son. 14 years sure does go by fast. I still remember being at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado back in 1995. I was there for a cycling clinic and during one of the presentations in front of about 200 people in walks a member of the USOC. They interrupt the presentation and call out my name telling me that there has been an emergency back home in Florida.....Carolynn had come down with the HELLP syndrome and I nearly lost you both. You were born 9 weeks early and only weighed about 3 pounds. The doctors and nurses at the Melbourne hospital were great and kept you going. It was close a couple of times, but you had a strong heart and set of lungs.
Sorry I was not there for your birth. It figures I was at some darn cycling function, but you were 9 weeks early so I have a good excuse. Soon we were able to start feeding you. We missed all those midnight feeding during the first month because you were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but let you till you this you made up for it when you we were finally able to take you home.