Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thanksgiving rates highest on my list of favorite holidays, there are limited opportunities for excessive consumerism and it's worth gathering among family and friends to share a meal together. Thursday morning broke clear and cold in Salina and I wanted to pull off another "tour de turkey", 56 miles span the distance between my sisters homes with Salina in the North and Newton down South, Wichita way. Not surprisingly, it's flat with a few rollers in the middle but deceivingly difficult as there are no opportunities to just coast, perhaps carve a few turns, etc. It just turning over the pedals constantly.
It was 22 degrees out when I threw a leg over the Jamis with a heap of cold weather gear on. Jen purposefully left late and met me about halfway down where I quickly pulled over for a wardrobe exchange as the day was heating up. Exactly 3 hours later, I arrived in Newton where it was a balmy 35 by the time I arrived. By then, I was ready to put some food away ! The next day, as our family tradition dictates we avoid Black Friday and someone generates a "work list" . Both live on farms ( small by Kansas standards) so inevitably there are projects to be completed. We spent most of the afternoon, hauling and burning brush and checking off a few indoor items as well.
We arrived back to the Front Range late Saturday afternoon, I had a few thoughts about running up to Westminster for Boulder series #4 but couldn't muster up the motivation to drive. As I mentioned above after 10 solid weeks of racing and driving from the Springs, by this time of the season, the interest in racing is peaking yet the desire to sit in the car for at least 2-3 hours per day or weekend is waning.
Looking forward to States, see you there
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thanks to all for vocalizing their support out there, especially the Frites clan. This poor group was resembling an infirmary outing with all the injuries sustained as of late. I hope you guys are on the mend. Great job to all who volunteered and put on a fine event. I hope next year for a few more food/beer vendors. By the time we finished our race, the parking lot had completely emptied and we found that most everyone had migrated down to the Chipotle down the road. It'd be nice to be able to linger at the site and pick up a brat and/or a waffle and yell at the pro field or least watch how it's really done.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
As I've only allotted myself one trip to the Boulder Reservoir per year, I will be skipping Schoolyard Cross on Saturday (a real shame as last years course at the schoolyard was super fun with it's self-imposed mud pit). So, I'll see you at Green Mountains Sports race in Castle Rock on Sunday.
Also scheming to hatch a plan for Nationals again...I hear Bend calling me
Monday, November 1, 2010
Whew ! now that we have that out of the way, if you'd like to read more about the view from the back row, then please kick back and enjoy !
This simple exchange before the start of Sundays race summed up the weekend for me. At about the 30 secs to go announcement, someone in our crusty old coots class spoke up and wished everyone good luck and a clean race in which another replied " I love you all, individually and as a group!" It was brilliant timing and definitely broke any start line jitters. As funny as that was, it was perfectly suited to describing a weekend spent immersed with my cyclocross family at large. We are already at the teetering point in our season and hopefully looking at the looming darker and wetter half from here on out.
Saturday at the Boulder Reservoir nearly didn't happen after (another) wildfire broke out on the edge of town. Thankfully the organizers were granted a last minute green light from officials and it was game on. While I've never been a huge fan of the course at the Reservoir, Pete Webber and crew put together what I would characterize as the best yet, not too much sand where I usually resemble an extra from Lawrence of Arabia stumbling across a searing expanse of desert after weeks spent astray and lost without water. The course also featured turns galore, and with the lack of moisture that we're experiencing this fall, the grass is wicked dry and becoming very slippery after pairs and pairs of skinny knobs continually run across it at 28psi. With the new warm-up rules being enforced I brought along a trainer and manged to get a so-so spin in and then checked out about two-thirds of a lap before realizing that I was out of time and made a sprint for the line so I wouldn't miss my start. Arrived in time to pitch my jacket to Jen and literally the whistle blew and off we went into a blind start that I had no preview of. I spent the next 45 minutes trying hard not to suck too bad and rolled across in a mid pack 32nd place, besting the previous weekend by one place. And as my friend Matt reminded me ( tongue in cheek) that success in cross is linear, so at this rate all I need is 32 more races before I get the big W.
During Saturday race, when I wasn't trying to keep my bike upright, I was thinking about Sundays course preview that had been posted on the interweb drawing all kinds of criticism and concern ( myself included )about the inordinate amount of pavement, whether is was cruising through the mall parking lot of jumping onto concrete sidewalks and how it looked as though it didn't really feature anything technical. Saturdays requirements were taking their toll on me and I serious reservations about what I'd have left for Sunday.
Well major kudos go out to Chris Grealish and his crew because Sundays course in my mind was superb. The course was the perfect example of an equalizer, the perfect mix of power and finesse. During the entire 45 minutes I shared an amazing duel with Charles Brown who would power away from me every single lap on the long grassy straightway grinder of a climb out of the lowest section of the course. He would easily put 10 to 15 seconds on me and I would be able to bridge back up and pass on the off camber downhill turns and runups back to the start finish area. We'd roll though the start/finish area along side one another each perhaps trying not to reveal too much even though all the shut down alarm bells were going off in my head. Charles punched it past me on the last lap and I couldn't close the gap on the last climb out, In fact 2 more guys came by me on either side as soon as we hit the concrete, I'm thinking there's no way I'm losing this many places on the last lap but as the 2 came past they manged to tangle bars and crashed themselves out of contention nearly taking me with them. I finished the day in 35th..so much for the linear success theory. I magically migrated my way directly into the Frites guys during cool down and they immediately offered up an adult recovery beverage from the Czech Republic which was very refreshing and followed by a brat and waffle. Another fitting end to a perfect weekend.
As far as passing judgement on video previews, I've learned my lesson, although perhaps not because I did the same thing for Bend Nationals last year, sitting at my computer and wondering why at had spent so much money and planned to go ride through sage weeds in the back of some some office park. I actually wished we take an alpine ski racing approach to these weekends. Go in "blind" in come prepared. I'd vote for text descriptions only.
See you next weekend, and as always thanks for reading