Sunday, December 19, 2010


Although it's only been a week, it seems strange to not be constantly monitoring input and output and prepping/scheming for the weekends upcoming races. The first few days after returning from Bend was spent consuming mass quantities of food (perhaps something about standing outside in the cold and wet for a few days) and sleeping absurdly hard for long hours. It felt as though the body has been at a constant state of readiness for months on end and to have it all end was a massive groundswell shift in my energy level.

While I had briefly entertained the thought of filling out the field at the last Boulder Cup in Lyons, I couldn't muster up the motivation to make the drive up to Lyons. Nationals in Bend put such an exclamation point on the end of the season that it's difficult to rally again for more. That being said, if I had a piss poor effort in Bend, for sure I would have tried to tack one on the schedule to end my season on a high note. ( I'm not ruling out the Jan 8th race here in the Springs but it looks like some Taiwan travel may interfere)

To make withdraw symptoms worse, Keller posted this beautiful video from Jamie Kripke on his site which in my mind is about 10-20 minutes too short. Stunning work.

Next post: the Shotty awards- a round up of the best and worst of this past season!

thanks for reading

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bend Day 4- Finale

So many stories come out a day of racing when all is on the line for the stars and bars jersey. Thanks to the interweb many, or all of you know what happened today in detail, here's what you may have have missed:

Mo Bruno Roy, stacking it hard in the first mud pit area and carrying on despite massive chunks of mud clogged in the vents of her helmet, clearly a sign of the force of the impact. Bleeding from near her eye and a face coated with dried on caked mud, fought from the very back well into the top third of the field. Her hubby Matt was keen at looking at Mo's lap times compared to Georgia Goulds but after he brought her to the hospital for an examination and stitches.

A pretty decent representation of Santa's (male and female )an Easter Bunny, the masked, nearly naked Mexican wrestler who was assaulted by Gumby and a Yeti in the mix. This was all happening in concert with the mens pro race for a display of the serious side of cyclocross.

"Boups" showing his running prowess by passing multitudes on foot every single lap while others were all trying to ride a particularly boggy section of the course, he was making everyone else out there look silly.

Adam Craig, switching back and forth between a singlespeed and a geared bike and finally settling on a singlespeed which looked to be in a pretty tall gear, then taking cash handups on the last lap.

Volume, sorry but streaming live video doesn't do justice to hearing and feeling a dozen or so talented musicians wailing away on percussion in sync. Trust me, between the drums, bells, horns, and voices , you can't even hear yourself think. I need to come better next year because using your voice to support riders is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Everyones true opponent this entire weekend was the course, it demanded finesse, power, patience, skill, water, sun, wind, balance and a ton of luck.

Congrats to Katie Compton for her 7th National Title and to Todd Wells who put together an outstanding effort out there today. Also an impressive effort by the green machine of Cannondale/ for putting all riders in the top 5!

Below is my most coveted piece of new schwag, a UCI approved go no-go guage for 32c tires and the other side cures dehydration! ( Thanks Stu )

That is all from here, thanks for reading

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bend Day 3

This morning I woke up to a nice heavy, steady mix of rain and snow, what a perfect start to a full day of masters and U-23 racing ! I offered up a hand to help out the massive Colorado contingency here this weekend, standing at the start of the 40+ for Pete Webbers and Brandon Dwight's warm up gear and then pitting for Keller. Standing in front of Pete prior to the start, I swear as long I've been involved or a witness to bicycle racing,I have never seen such an intense pre-race focus. I'm for sure glad I wasn't racing in this class to have this kind of fury unleashed on me and others in the field. All rode a textbook race with all Colorado riders filling out the podium, Pete 1st ( Congratulations!!) Brandon 2nd and Jon Cariveau 3rd. Keller unfortunately was victim to an unavoidable crash in front and ended up running a huge length of the course before turning over to his B bike and soldering on. Conditions were EPIC with very heavy cold rain occasionally turning over to wet snow, huge wet flakes saturating everything in sight. Great rides by others from the bubble: Michael Robinson, Ward Baker, and Dan Farrell.

The Colorado dominance continued on for the remainder of the day with Danny Summerhill taking the U-23 race, Jonathan Ward won the 35+, and Matt Pacocha was first across the line for the 30+. Some scenes from the venue today. The weather really couldn't have been better and just adds to the atmosphere. This posting is no replacement for the feeling of standing in a few inches of saturated wet grass, smelling and feeling the smoke from an open pit fire, adult beverage in hand, wind blowing, pissing down rain and happy as a clam watching riders fight their own battles all day long. This is Nationals and this is why anyone who shares a love of cyclocross owes it to themselves to come and be absorbed into the fold. It's like no other.
Photo from Friday's 45+ race courtesy of Dave McElwaine/, more can be found here at

Tomorrow in my humble opinion, is going to be a barn burner. If Ryan Trebon stays upright without a mechanical, he could easily take this. Powers is obviously on form and motivated for the trifecta (NACT,USGP, and a Nationals win ) My sentimental favorite, Tim Johnson seems to be under the weather a bit but he also was at Fort Collins and stomped on everyone by a healthy margin, he can never be counted out and there is no one better in the mud in my opinion.

Thanks for reading, one last post to come


Friday, December 10, 2010

Bend Day 2

I'm not a late in the day racer, I was loitering around my hotel room going bonkers stewing in my own juices waiting for a 3:30 start time. Prior to lunch I figured I might as well suit up and spin out the legs for a bit. I headed North on a nice winding road that lead out to an Oregon State Campground ( Tumalo ) that Jen and I camped at over a decade ago. While we were living in California, we loaded up a camper truck and drove the length of the California and Oregon coast initially trying to get to Victoria, B.C. until nonstop rain had us looking at maps in Portland. We picked Bend, knowing absolutely nothing about it other than we knew it'd be drier than the coast. We ended up spending 5 days here and became very taken with the area so when CX Nats came here it wasn't a difficult decision to return for both years.

After some leftover pizza for lunch and a valid effort at taking a nap,(too amped) I finally rounded up all my gear and headed out to the track and was able to take a nice long warm up ride for at least an hour. By start time, the winds were kicking up and temps were dropping quickly.The track was completely saturated from overnight rains and other than pavement, there wasn't a firm spot on the course. We were lined up in a very gentlemanly manner and the whistle blew shortly thereafter. I was stoked to get through the first left-hander without incident when suddenly there were bikes and bodies everywhere at the first mud pit. I was able to avoid the drama but lost some places by dismounting and running around the wreck. The first 2 laps were a blur, it was super difficult moving forward because of traffic and limited lines in the murky sections. any feeling in my fingers and toes were gone. Braking and shifting became stabs at levers, not well executed movements. In the murkiest of sections I spotted ( more like heard )Boulderites Dan Farrell, Keller, and Pete Webber making sure I wasn't languishing or whiling away my time. At 3 to go , I could hear that Don Myrah ( former honchy MTB pro and ex-Olympian racer) was coming and coming fast. At 2 to go, I buried myself trying to stay ahead of Myrah so he couldn't deny me of my last lap. It was close, way close but I made it and was so stoked rolling out for my proper last lap. I was able to make some last few position gains and rolled through in 48th position (120? starters I think ).

This years course, while not a radically different layout than last year, couldn't have ridden any different, I kind of missed last years glacial qualities of the course. This years infield fly-over looked easy enough but with the power sapping grass before and after it seemed more like an annoyance. All in all, a solid race to finish off the season, no complaints at all, no (major)crashes, flats, illness, loss of motivation..all season.

Now, my bike, gear, hotel room,and rental car are completely destroyed, there is mud EVERYWHERE and it's so tempting just to cram it in a box, bag and leave it for another day but I've got my worked cut out for me tomorrow to clean up the bike,pack it up and ship it back to CO. First though, I'm putting on my pitting outfit and helping out the Boulder boys tomorrow morning in the 35+ race.

Hopefully I'll find some images to post here soon, stay tuned for more and thanks for coming by.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bend Day One

All went super smooth today, flights were on time, if not a little early despite some weather in SFO. Picked up my car, derbied direct to the hotel, staff was kind enough to check me in early so I had a place to assemble my bike and pick out my costume for the day.

The TT course for seeding tomorrows start line position was very easy to find and I arrived with about 45 minutes to spare. 15 of those were used up by pinning on the piles of numbers required to race ( hint: use transponders ). The course must have been a bit higher elevation than town because there is still a decent coating of snow on the ground. I managed to warm up for about 20 minutes until it was time to blindly dive into the track. Holy sketch-fest, super deep icy frozen downhill ruts, monster deep puddles that you just have to trust that there is not some ginormous rock lurking beneath the surface. I felt kinda fast on the straights but was probably a bit too conservative everywhere else. I kept it upright but the long steep run-up took the wind out of sails to say the least. All this happened in less than 8 minutes ! As I write this, results have yet to be posted.

After a cool down and putting on warm dry clothes, I made out to the track and loved what I saw. The track is very muddy, but the black liquidy variety, not the gooey, clay stuff we have in CO. It looks far more rideable than last years treacherous packed ice sheets with a bit of grassy sections. They've also lengthened it considerably which will help with the field sizes. While I was there I watched Methusela(Ned Overend) win his umpteenth National Title. sweet.

I've got to go dry out my gear and find some newspaper to stuff in my shoes...More tomorrow

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


A few more pics I found from States

Bags are packed, plane leaves Oh-Dark-Thirty...Stoked! and with TT on my mind, I found this jewel from the 2005 Tour

Stay tuned for Natz updates


Monday, December 6, 2010

Colorado Finale

My frenzied weekend started Friday when prepping early for Bend, I was gluing on a fresh new Dugast Rhino to handle the mixed bag of terrain and weather conditions ahead. I've never been a huge fan of gluing tubys because I've had so much limited experience that I'd gladly hand off the task to someone far more competent than myself (that's you T-town!). So after completing a the job Friday evening with a very satisfactory job of gluing and not getting any glue spooge on the sidewalls or braking surface, I threw on a quick coat of sealant and took Jen out on date night for a nice dinner. Upon returning I wanted to check the sealant and make sure it had dried uniformly and noticed that I had glued the rear tire on the tread pattern reversed. I had glued the friggin tire on backwards!!! Instantly, rapid fire thoughts are running through my head like "well, Michelin Jet's on my commuter are front and rear specific and well, the backwards Rhino almost matches the Jets,'s fine" . Well after a very restless night of waking up with State Championships anxiety and the tire debacle I decided that since the glue wasn't completely set up and I haven't ridden it yet, I'll try to peel it off and repair it in the morning.

I quickly rushed through Saturday morning's breakfast and went downstairs to start the process all over again, with a lot of pulling, tugging, wheezing, and sweating I was able to get the tire without any damage to the base tape. Re-glue, lay down tape, another layer or glue and put the tire on in the proper direction. Funny thing is, I won't know if the job is done completely right until I race at Nationals. I had no plans to race this tire at States because of the dry conditions forecast all weekend. The remainder of the day was fighting for parking spots at the mall as we are wrapping up ( pun intended ) our seasonal shopping extravaganza.

On Sunday, Jim and I loaded up the Element chock full of spare bikes, wheels, trainers and embrocations for what would be our last trip up North this season. Arrived in plenty of time so throw on heaps of clothes and make an attempt to warm up. It may have been dry but some humidity in the air was making the temps feel pretty brisk, hovering just above freezing when we arrived. I was able to witness a portion of my fellow ex-Mainer Matt Klick from the Frites en Mayo team sticking it to all the Cat 3 guys. He was looking buttery smooth and composed up front but looked to be the victim of some coordinated attacks from behind and finished up 3rd. for the day but a great race and ride.
64 of us lined up for the 45+ race, I rarely get a bad case of the jitters but I was super nervous about this race primarily based on the terrain. flat and FAST, I think the fastest course I've seen in some time. It was an elastic band course featuring short turny tech sections punctuated by these long, drawn out straightaways requiring megawatts of power. Whistle blows and I get a decent start, not exactly moving forward but not sliding back either. We bottleneck slightly in the first few run-ups and turns but I can see the front end of the race disappear off into the horizon on the power sections. " these guys are SO fast" . I put my head down and tried hanging with groups, moving forward when the group started to lag or bobble and hanging on for dear life when attacks started. I was consistently gaining places on the short stair run-up but would blow to the sky on the sandy runs through the volleyball court. I had a bit of a 2 to go meltdown and lost a few spots and started picking bad lines making small mistakes. On 1 to go I pulled it together with an internal memo that this was the State Championships, you're having a good race so keep it together. I rolled through in 29th place, the 2nd Cat 4 guy in our field and was absolutely thrilled (It obviously doesn't take much to get me thrilled) , but I couldn't have been happier with such a clean race. Thanks so much to all vocalizing their support from the other side of the tape (Lortie, Dave-O, Matt, Brian, and Rich from the Frites crew, Bob P, Matty O, Dan from BSV) it was seriously motivating and meant a lot when it's just too easy to ignore those dangling in the middle of no-mans land.

So there you have it. 2010 Colorado Cross Season in the books and it's been a great one, perhaps a little too dry would be the single complaint. I'll post some more wrap-up items on this past season in Colorado but now I'm looking to Bend. Typically goals for Nationals: don't get lapped, don't get pulled.

Thanks for reading


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ramping Up

I fully realize that our season pushes into January this year but there still is an elevated sense of excitement/frenzy surrounding the two main events coming up. Two days of the Colorado State Championships begins today up in Louisville. Best of luck to all who are racing today, personally I was hoping for some weather but like much of our season here, dry and chilly seems to be the order of the day. I am amped to pin on what most likely will be my last Colorado race of the season. Between the travelling to Nationals,holidays, the desire to go make turns on snow, and travel plans to Taiwan, I realistically don't see fitting many more races in my schedule. There's never enough time to fit it all in.

On the other end of the spectrum,Bend's weather looks downright wintery. Check out the video of the time trial course. Initially I thought I read that this was a 8-9 minute course, well add a heap of wet snow and cold temps and that gets bumped out to 20-25 minutes ! Finally, USA cycling has posted our individual start times for this event and it looks like I'll have a time trial to the time trial. My plane lands in Redmond at 11am Thursday, my time trial start is 1:30PM !! So quick, gather luggage, pick up the rental car, go to the hotel, assembly my bike, go to registration packet pick up, find my way out to the TT course venue, get dressed and warmed up...all in 2.5 hours? Should be interesting. I'll pretend not be be crushed if things go pear shaped and I miss my start. I had a horrible starting position last year ( 3rd or 4th row from the back in 125 something riders ) and managed 50th.

I'll post after tommorrows event, in the meantime, keep the shiny side up

Thanks for reading