Thursday, October 29, 2009

Big pimpin???not so much!

So I'm building a "B" cross bike. On the cheap. Basically, when I got my new frame I sold my old one to a friend. Well, I ended up buying it back and am building my old cross bike back up as a pit bike for next to nothing money wise.
But just when I think I'm big pimpin stylee w/ a "B" bike, I peep this picture of Neils Albert at the Koppenberg Cross. Now my B bike will be distinguishable by it being a different model year, different color and totally different set up. But big Pro's have their bikes identical, so they can start on one and finish on another and not tell a difference. Due to this (and for the sake of the mechanic's dealing with their bikes) they put numbers one the headtube to tell one from another.
Long story, right? But if you look closely at the pic below, you see the Neils', bike has "5" on the headtube indicating this is not his "A" bike nor his "B" bike, but his "E" bike. Meaning he has at least 5 bikes in his quiver! Craziness.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things that make you go "hmmm"

This came in the mail the other day.
So do I sign it, then a piano falls on my head or something? No thanks, I'd rather not enroll for accidental death; I'll take my chances.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hilly Weekend

I measure my years in Hilly 100's. 1 more down.
The weekend was good, Saturday was cool and very windy, but Sunday was great. We were busy, as usual, but I think there were fewer people this year. We made a little less money than usual, but only a little.
It was mostly the standard issue repairs, but I snapped a photo of Josh doing our "big" repair for this year.
This dude's seatpost broke off and had to be sawed out. We had him go to the hardware store and get a straight hacksaw, but he got a cheap one and the carbon fiber was too tough for it and it dulled the blade before the post could be gotten through. We did not get him going (which is our overall goal, to get people going).
It was good weekend though. I got to see some people I don't see very often and it's nice to be out, somewhere different.


I was a little bummed to have to miss the USGP races n Louisville, but word is it was a total mud bath, so I guess if I had to miss any races, it's better to miss a mud fest. Pic below is my chum Fred Rose. Fred apparently was dealt race number 13. It is customary for a riders to pin on unlucky #13 upside-down, but Fred was risking it here. I'm way too superstitious to chance that.

In other Hilly news: Karen Bayne, who used to work with me at Bikesmiths and is a friend came to town for the ride. She moved to Northern Ohio for a teaching gig at a small college a year or two ago.
While riding Saturday morning she crashed into the back of a car and was badly hurt. She was in a coma for two days, has broken neck vertebrae (no paralysis though), broken ribs, broken knee cap, and lots of cuts. She regained consciousness yesterday (Monday) and was able to respond to doctors. It seems her cognitive function's will be return, hopefully to normal (at first there was wonder that IF she recovered, whether or not her cognitive function would return). I have been to visit her twice but she has been sleeping both times.
We're all hoping for a good and full recovery for her.

Which brings me to my final topic: today's workout. It looked like rain, so I suited up and went to a circuit I like to do intervals on that is fairly close to home. I was going to do 2x20min in my zone 3/4. First interval felt hard, but I hammered it out. I just figured I wasn't very warmed up and the second one would come easier. Not so. I was flailing like a rag doll and using all the positive self talk I could muster. Then at 10minutes in, it started raining, so I just rode the interval to the turn back into town and bagged it @ 12min. Fail. This is really the first interval workout I've totally screwed, so it's no big deal I'm sure, but it is a little discouraging.
Oh well, back to racing this weekend!

Friday, October 23, 2009


This was supposed to be a great picture of the Southern Indiana fall colors, it didn't really come out too good. It's pretty though, trust me.
The bad part of the fall down here is the roads are COVERED in leaves. And when it rains, like it did today, descents are treacherous. If taken very slowly, they're doable, but still dangerous. Careful, folks.
I ended up w/ a very solid training week, which will be a little short hours wise due to the weekend being completely void of riding in favor of working the Hilly 100. But w/ no racing this weekend, I wanted to have a good, hard week.
Well, I am out of time. Got to get ready for Hilly.
Talk to you's after the festivities!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Some Bloomingcross pics

Here are a few pictures from the Bloomingcross weekend taken by frame builder Tim O'donnell of Shamrock Cycles.

This is lap 1 , first corner. Note Josh's moto-stylee w/ the foot down corner. (this is the same corner I crashed in later, but on a much different line through it).

A few seconds later, same vantage point. MTB legend Mark Giganti goes "foot down" too.

Coming out of the woods section (smiling for the cam).

This is a really good pic; determined look.

C'mon Josh, first a foot down and now a tongue out? Time to tighten up your game!

Yesterday me and good group rolled out for a good, solid ~50miles. I haven't done a good hard group ride in weeks, since I have been attempting to do zone specific power training. It was just what I needed, as I have become a slave to my power meter as of late. Not that I mind staring at the PT (yet), but it was nice to just let it record and not pay attention to it.
Tonight it the local CX training race. Should be a good day for it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

OVCX #6 Bloomingcross

Man, 6 races in the books already. At least stop #6 was 2miles from my house!
I had a good race on my "home course." The course was not the course we have our weekly practice race on, but we had been making trips over to the race venue course to 1) get it broken in and 2) to get to know it.
The course started out with a (kind of) long and (pretty) steep paved climb. At the top of the climb was a narrow 180* onto the grass (and back downhill). I knew I had to get into that 180 among the firsts. I was second or third to the turn, but first guy bobbled and dabbed his foot, causing the rest of us to jam up. It was sorted out soon enough and I was sitting comfortably in second. I got feeling a little too comfortable (as in it felt too easy) and decided to take the lead and try to spread things out. I led for 1 lap, then relinquished the lead to Andrew Dillman, and he never looked back. I was then racing hard in second when I crashed very nastily on the fast downhill section. I landed hard on my left side, but was quickly up and riding. This fall, however allowed third place to close on me significantly. He soon passed me as I was trying to regain my rhythm and composer. It stayed in this order or the rest of the race, though I was closing on second in the final laps; 20 more yards of finishing stretch and I might have gotten him. I'm happy w/ third though. Can't complain on making a podium!
It was great weekend and cool to race CX here in town. Plus there were a lot of loc-dogs out cheering for me (and all the local riders). It was sweet.
Big ups to Fred Rose for an authoritative win in his race. Ryan Shanahan won his age race as well. Ryan Preske showed well on a CX bike he bought just a few days earlier! And NKOTCXB (new kid on the cyclocross block), Erik Hamilton once again KILLED his race. He stamped out a big 2nd in the elite men.
So I loafed it on running last week (as in I DIDN'T run last week) using recovering from the 3day race weekend as my excuse. Well, this week it's back to steady training, no excuses. I do have to miss racing this weekend due to the Hilly 100. I cannot miss the Hilly, because I make very good money in two days of work. Hard work, for sure, but good money for it.
My only "worry" is giving up my start position by missing these two races. I'm sitting 2nd or 3rd in the series right now and top 5 get front row starting position. This is a huge advantage. Missing these races gives the others free points. But there are possible scenarios where I remain top 5. We'll just see.
I'll post up some pics from Bloomingcross when I can find some.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More weekend pics

Caitlin Coar, Erik Hamilton's girlfriend, was out over the weekend w/ her camera and got some good shots. These are all from the sand pit on Sunday.

This is, hands down, my new favorite racing pic of myself.

~halfway through sandpit #2.

Another great shot.
I tend to smile for cameras (if I can muster it) when I see them. I like shots 1 and 3 here because I didn't know I was being photo'd and they're just very expressive (ie: going hard, hurting and not sugar-coating it for the camera).

The barriers Sunday.

The two below are from Friday. Remember I said it was the muddiest CX race I've done? Check these out:Barrier #1

and #2. You can actually see mud and crap hanging off of my bike. And I'm obviously covered.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cincinatti UCI Weekend

This weekend was the UCI three race weekend. We left Friday morning to get to my 1:30pm start. Forecast was for rain and it rained the whole way there. Pretty hard. And it had rained the entire day before. Needless to say the course was a muddy mess. Large portions of it were unrideable and we were told that large portions had to be re-routed to not completely destroy the park grounds. Friday was, without a doubt, the muddiest cross race I've ever done.
I had a good start and entered the course from the pavement ~5th or so. I rode at the front for a lot of the race, but after a while I had to just focus on not falling (which was not really possible) and keep moving forward in the deep, sticky mud.
I ended up 11th on the day. (it's worth noting that at these big UCI races, they run cat 2 and 3 in the same race, whereas "normally" the cat 2's race w/ the cat 1/2. So my 11th was overall, including cat2's.) So I was happy w/ that result.
My happiness is evident by my big smile, while completely covered head to toe in mud (photo G. Parry).

We stayed at the host hotel, which was a Radisson. They had a "wash station" (hose) set up in the parking garage, which was totally sweet. I brought my cleaning supplies and work stand, so I had it dialed.
We were on the 15th floor of this 18 floor hotel. Here are couple shots of the surrounding trees/hills/interstates from our balcony.

and this cool bell tower below.

Saturday's race was expected to be much better weather-wise (it couldn't really be worse). And while it had a couple muddy patches in the course, overall it was a great course. I really liked it and would really like to do it in ideal conditions; I think it would be super fast. I didn't know my start time while I was messing around during the other races, so I didn't eat what I normally do before racing and I had a shorter warm up than normal too. I still rode good and hard, though I felt a little flat. I ended up 12th.
Sunday was the race that I have done several times in the past. The course changes a bit year to year, but I generally know it. Plus I showed up early enough o ride 4 laps for pre-ride. The course was pretty fast overall, and dry for the most part, but did have a few "mud pits" as they were being called. It also had two sand pits (as did the previous day). This is of note because the sand, plus all the wet plus just general dirtiness, had my brake pads wore to next to nothing. I was a little worried going in that my brakes would fade from still-kinda-working status to sorry-dude status in the duration. I took off and had another great start. I rolled a good portion of the race in 4th and was eventually caught by a group of chasers. I sat in the group, which started to splinter w/ me toward the back. I attacked out of it and ended up 7th. I was very happy w/ that result and the race overall. I need new pads though.
Big props to Ryan Knapp and Mike Sherer for showing big time in the Pro races all three days. I left before the end of Sunday's race, but I guess they both crashed and both broke a collar bone each! The both had good races all three days and were mixing it up w/ the big pro guys. Bummer they crashed out on the last day.
Props to Fred Rose for bringing it in the Masters race all three days.
BIG props top Eric Hamilton for starting form the back of the 2/3 (my race) and winning Sat and Sun. This guy is a cross machine. he's new to the discipline and reminds me of James Stewart in his early motocross days: super fast, but out of control. he's getting it down though. Look out for him in the 1-2 races here coming up.
And a huge shout out/thanks to Gerraint Parry, the hardest working man out there all weekend. GP announced all three days, and every race. That's like, 10 races per day between all cats, age groups and sexes. He always keeps a keen eye for his locals and makes sure they get their shout outs. Thanks G.

I'll post up some more pics as they are available..I'm sure there's more out there.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I took the big win at Wednesday Worlds of Cyclocross last night! Okay, so everyone (including myself) was riding easy in prep for the three day weekend in Cinci, but anytime I cross the line in front of Bloomington's big guns, I'm going to make note.

Brian Drummy came out w/ his camera and snapped a few. We were riding the OVCX course to try to get it broken in before the race there in two weeks.

Since we were riding easy, we put on our "race faces" for the good photo opps. So it looked like we're in the heat of battle.

This is a good pic of all that's going on in a 180* turn w/ an obstacle (tree) involved. Note the turn of my front wheel, the angle of my bike/lower body and the opposing angle of my upper body. And your eyes have to be focused on the path ahead while doing all that. Crazy.

I think I'm going to do an easy spin indoors on rollers today. It looks like rain and after getting hella rained on Tuesday and a nasty looking forecast in Cinci tomorrow, I don't' want to get wet again. With the season changing, I feel like my immune system is on the brink as as.

Monday, October 05, 2009

OVCX 2, etc.

Sunday was stop #2 in the Ohio Valley CX series. This is hyped as the hardest course in the series and all that hoopla. It's either up, down, turn or off camber the whole lap. And the lap was kind of short, so there was no recovery really, just do it over and over.

Wes Harris, a fellow Speedway Wheelman, snapped a few photos out on the course. Thanks Wes.

A few of the pics show the amount of elevation on the course. In some you can see how high the background is.

I felt really good racing here. I never felt like I was riding too far outside of myself. Which is good because it minimized the amount of time during which I felt like I was going to die (and wished I would), but is also kind of bad because I got third and was gapped by 1st and 2nd. I did gap 3rd and the rest of the field though. Which means I spent a good amount of the race in no-mans-land, not catching the guys in front of me, but holding of the ones behind me.
Overall it was a good race and I was happy both with my result and my ride. And, as usual, i got to hang out with good friends for the rest of the day.
As mentioned before, this weekend is the big UCI triple-header in Cincinnati. I think a couple things: 1) doing three CX races in three days will be hard. But 2) doing three CX races in three days will make me strong (once I get recovered from it all).
So I am looking forward both to the racing and to the training it will provide.
Wish me luck! (remember: success occurs at the intersection of preparation, execution and luck).

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Fall, it's-a-here.

I lifted this picture off the internet, it's doesn't quite look like that here...yet.

But the weather has switched to Fall mode and it did it in a right hurry. I guess I was gone for a few days last week, so maybe there was a quick transition that I missed, but the mornings went from 60's to 40's. Morning rides are down right cold for now. I don't terribly mind the Fall or Spring but they take some getting used to.
Fall is cyclocross season though, and even though riding at max effort makes you hot regardless of outside temp, the weather right now is just about perfect for CX racing. This weekend is #2 in the Ohio Valley CX series. It's in Kentucky and it's a hilly, technical course. If it stays dry I think I can do good at it. If it's wet, it could be about survival and staying upright.
Next weekend is the three (3) day UCI (Unione Cycliste Internationale [governing body of world cycling]) weekend in Cincinnati. I'm raicng all three days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). I expect this to be most difficult as cyclocross, while only 45min long, is SUPER hard and leaves you SUPER spent. To do it three days in a row will be a challenge. Recovery shall be the name of that game.
I feel like I have my week(s) pretty well dialed-in training wise.
I'm riding an easy ~hour Monday, then running Monday night.
Doing hard 10-20min intervals Tuesday.
CX training race Wed night.
~2hrs steady pace, not hard, not easy, Thursday morning. Then run Thurs eve.
~1hr easy Friday.
Off Saturday (work all day)
Race Sunday.
I'm feeling pretty good overall, though it's been hard to get out of bed lately;I've been tired. I think it's probably a seasonal thing, but I started taking B-vitamins anyway.
So, that's that. I'll post up after the weekend.