Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
During lap three I counted out my spot to be somewhere in the top 15..very stoked!! , there were a handful of riders in front and felt confident that I could pick them off with 3 to go , perhaps earn myself a top ten finish which would be a personal best for a Boulder Series race. During lap 2 I was up, out of the saddle rounding a short uphill pavement turn when I felt my front end push hard......a puncture..again! Realizing that the tire wasn't going flat fast, I rode it as long as a could on the pavement and some "smooth" dirt sections and ran everything else. Needless to day I was going backwards quickly...I came into the pit and swapped my wheel, while some bystander thankfully helped hold my bike up as I dealt with loosening and tightening the skewer to get around the fork tabs (lawyer lips.....mental note to self....must grind off after this )
Back on the rivet, I had one lap to make up as many places as I could. Getting around the previous lap basically riding on the rim had taxed me heavily. With a half lap to finish, there was a group of 5 closely bunched in front of me.. I stood up and passed all only to have a quick wave a nausea roll over me. "Whoa"...sit up again, gather myself and just finish. 38th place. Definitely mixed emotions today. I can't and shouldn't get all worked up about the placing in the "old guys who work 40 hour plus work weeks and don't train" group, but on the other hand I wanted to race a clean race after last weekends little mishap...well chalk it up to a really worthwhile practice session, perhaps these mid-race mini calamities and chase from behind are good for motivation, fitness but above all else, remembering to enjoy myself and not get bent on results, It's not what matters at the end of the day. Perhaps it's working, today's course was pure joy to race on, really challenging and well constructed so kudos to the organizers.
This week will include a complete teardown of the drivetrain after all this sand. Next weekend, the Boulder Cup and the pro's arrive into town. Saturday, back to the Rez ( I'm not tempting fate and will skip this race ) but plan on attending Sunday's event. Till then, thanks for reading
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Boulder Cross Series # 3 tomorrow at my least favorite venue, the Boulder reservoir, acres and acres of deep sand and lots of goat heads lying beneath the surface waiting to take you out of the game with a flat. It's almost 7PM and I'm not sure if I'm up to the task of getting up early..again, or not. we'll see
Thanks for reading
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
a cold front arrives today
two pedal strokes home
at least that's what it felt like....the commute home this evening was spectacular. Clouds were looming over Monument pass and I could tell we're losing our daylight pretty quick. Fresh snow coating the higher portions of the peak while the bright gold trees provided an impressive contrast to the dark clouds out East. It was one of those rides we're you feeling pro, rolling effortlessly along in the big ring while the only audible sound is the light buzzing of your tires on pavement and the occasional crunch of leaves. There were a few poor souls headed North, directly into the teeth, I felt for them because we've all been there, a nod and a wave to acknowledge their efforts but for the moment I was thoroughly enjoying my push South. Did I mention that fall is the finest season ? It is.
Thanks for reading,
Monday, October 20, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Looking ahead, I had my work cut out for me, slowly and methodically I try to move up through the field, then about halfway through lap #2 , the rider in front of me, does a quick brake check. I immediately get on the stoppers to avoid a pileup and I feel the rider behind me hit my rear wheel. We descend onto pavement and my chain is stuck in my 11T cog, I'm rolling along frantically flailing at my paddle shifter looking for an easier gear..nothing. I look closer and realize that when the rider hit me, his tire pushed my derailleur cage up the cassette taking tension off the shift cable. The cable housing came out of the stop and that's what caused the immediate downshift. Huge amount of relief as initially I thought this race was over.I pull over and hop off, my oxygen deprived brain isn't completely putting a solution into place as fast my hands. I'm really trying hard not to count how many places I'm losing. I take a couple of deep breaths, stick the housing back into the stop and jump back on. I'm basically frothing at the mouth because of the adrenaline surge. Within another lap and half I connect back to the group where I ran into trouble and keep pushing from there. I'm so spun I never remembered to look at the laps remaining nor do I hear the " one to go" bell. All of a sudden we're finished..too bad because I had a couple more good strong laps in me.
End of the day in 33rd place. I can't be upset about that. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I was able to complete the race...it was a beautiful day, I felt really smooth through all the barriers. Good fun. Post race activities included an exchange of a donation for the Valmont Bike Park for a couple of brats ( a wicked good deal ) watching Pete Webber ( former Mainer and all around good guy ) absolutely crush the 35+ Open's ....no more sandbagging...I think there's a spot for you in the senior Opens.
If I find some photo's I'll post them here.
Thanks for reading!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I finished building my commuter/spare pit/cross bike, a Surly Cross-Check. In one word to describe the ride: butter. This bike is ridiculously smooth, I'm guessing it's combination of being weight challenged and made from steel. I've been able to dial the geometry so it matches my race bike perfectly. I equate riding this bike to those baseball players that are using two bats to warm up prior to stepping up to the batters box...when I throw a leg onto the race bike I can't help but kill it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
There's good timing and then there's "it was meant to be" timing. More than a few decades ago, while in college I had my eye on a girl from Maine, at that time she fit my criteria perfectly, one: she was wicked cute, two : she owned a mountain bike...granted it was a Peugeot, nothing terrible special at the time but we're talking about the late eighties..there couldn't have been more than one hundred mountain bikes in the entire state of New Hampshire at that time. One of our first dates was going to downtown Keene to the Colonial Theatre and watching Jonathan Demme's film "Stop Making Sense" in my humble opinion, far and above the finest concert film ever made. I was a huge fan of the Talking Heads and back in day had a copy of the lyrics to "I Zimbra" taped to my dorm room door. ( Don't ask... it was a long time ago ).On October 8th, we just passed two decades of marriage together, depending on where you're standing you could say 20 years is a good start or a long time to be with one person. Either way it's worked for us very nicely. Last night David Byrne was playing in Denver. We had never got to see the Talking Heads play live before the bands demise however we've always remained a fan of Byrne's music. His performance was sublime, his voice hasn't diminished at all and his musical abilities are very well intact. Brian Eno and he recently collaborated on a recent release titled " Everything that happens will happen today" Eno provided the background soundscape, Byrne wrote all the lyrics. It's a collection of beautiful songs and I would highly recommend taking a listen.
A pretty special night and quite surreal, the same songs that we heard watching the film all that time ago still evoke the same feelings of euphoria, introspect, serenity...but it's the new material that really makes me listen. I'm glad for artists like David Bryne, he could take all the original material and play it to death or keep reinventing and building on a solid foundation...much like what keeps a lifetime commitment interesting.
Thanks for reading...I'm just about finished building my winter commuter cross bike and making some tweaks to the race bike..stay tuned for some geeking out on bike stuff
Sunday, October 12, 2008
I've been a bike geek for some time now. My first real job was in a bike shop and to this day I've never held a job outside of the bicycle industry. My wife and I started our married life in Maine, headed out to Boulder in 93 and then to Santa Cruz California. After about 5 years the likelihood of putting down roots was becoming non existent as the cost of living was far exceeding our earnings. We headed back to Maine for about 5 years and while the great Northeast is home we struck out again for Colorado. We've been in Colorado Springs for just over 3 years now. Cyclocross is my main obsession, and the thing is...I'm not that good ! I don't care for training ( takes all the fun out ) I've been racing cross in every state we've lived for the past 15 years and I've taken the top spot on the podium once. The draw to cross is inexplicable to me, I have a difficult time trying to convey the appeal to most folks. But if you've been bitten by the bug, you know what I mean. Who else wakes up on a very chilly and dark weekend morning, looks outside to see a light rain falling and immediately the pulse quickens just thinking about the course turning into a quagmire. I feel like I should be in some support group on a 12 step program.."Hi my name is Chris.....I like riding my skinny-tired bike around in small circles every weekend, preferably in thick mud...." It's a problem.
This weekend I'm home nursing wounds ( from what, I don't know ) we had cross practice ( note: not training....it's practice! ) in Monument Valley Park on Thursday evening and when I woke on Friday morning it felt as though my right hip needed replacing. Deep deep pain and very limited mobility. It might be the result of an over enthusiatic dismount and barrier section that I was trying to warp through in combination with a minor get-off on my moto from the previous weekend which left a nice black and blue on the same vicinity. I'm left hobbling around the house instead of a planned double ( Boulder # 2 at Xilinx and Red Rocks # 1 ) this weekend, I'm trying to not let it get to me as there is still plenty of the season left and what I need to focus on is rest. On the right coast is the unofficial "New England Worlds" in Gloucester at Fort Stage Park. It's such as classic venue, literally right on the ocean and will consistently attract a very savvy cross crowd armed with brats, beer and bullhorns. I hope to see all my fellow kooks at Blue Sky Velo's event next Sat.
Thanks for reading, I truly hope you enjoy my future ramblings, check back for more