Monday, November 30, 2009

John Bryan Park CX photo dump

Here are some pics form the John Bryan CX in Yellow Springs.

Crappy lighting, but this is the sand pit #2, I think.

Somewhere 0n course.


Better angle/lighting.

Being a good sport post finish, five-ing/"good job-ing" the people I lapped (2nd place wasn't through the line yet).

Also of note, my finish line shot was the pic used in the print edition of the Dayton news paper. Josh/Dan/Luther/Jake's mom gets this as her local paper and is sending me the page. It should be sweet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving, OVCX #14 (win #2!)

For Thanksgiving Lindsay and I trekked up to my parents for the feast. My brother and his wife (Lisa) were there, so it was a good time to hang w/ everyone that I don't see all the time. It should go w/out saying that I ate a ton, which was awesome. It was a pretty uneventful day, but that's a good thing.
One event worth mention, however, is that my Brother, Dad and I went to the Frankfort Rural King after the T-giving meal. I thought it was pretty awesome that they have 200lb tubs of protein for only $40. But since it's only 24%, I'd probably have to get 4 of them. This may be a great way to bulk up though, lifting and consuming 200lb tubs of protein. I did score some knee-high rubber boots and PVC dipped work gloves for cold weather bike cleaning though. Pretty sweet find.
Morning of T-giving I got up early and went to the BBC Turkey Trot 5k. It was a cold morning, but I pulled up was locking my bike to a post when the dude shouted "1minute till start." Perfect timing, as I didn't want to stand around in the cold waiting. I quickly found my way around all of the back-of-the-packers and up to my friend Sarah Sanderhan and Buzz, their 3 legged dog. I ran w/ them for most of the run, but decided to light it up in the last 1/2mile or so (okay, I just wanted to beat the 3 legged dog). I ran a 24min flat. Not my best time in a 5k, but acceptable for a cyclist.

This weekend was stop #14 in the OVCX series in Yellow Springs, OH (yes, where Dave Chapelle lives). It's a long drive (3hrs on the dot), but once I got there I liked the course and was glad I made the trip. It was a super flat course w/ some single track, a double sandpit, and tons of really good turns.
This race was a dual series race (OVCX and Ohio Cap City series), so the call ups were not in the normal order. Several Cap city riders were called first, and I got the last spot on the front row. It was a long uphill road start, so I wasn't to worried, but when my name wasn't called for start after 6 or so guys, I got worried, but all turned out well. I went into the grass 4th wheel, immediately moved into 3rd, then a few turns later moved into 1st and never looked back. I gapped the field and rode it all the way from gun (whistle) to tape (line). While I'm not one to place a bunch of meaning into a win, it was extra cool to win today because two very good friends of mine were in town for Thanksgiving (their Mom lives near the venue in OH) and were their to watch.
They took a bunch of pics, including the podium shot I had Dan take on my phone. I'll have a bunch more after Luther gets them uploaded and sent to me.
It was a great day of racing and hanging out w/ friends. Great weather.
The drive home turned worse though. It rained most of the way and heavily at times. I had to get gas and was hungry for hot food, but there was no restaurant at the exit other than sit down places, so I got a hot dog from the gas station. It was soooooooo nasty; real bad idea. Then, I got caught up in two full blown traffic jams on 37 coming back to B-town. It took 4 hrs to get home.

Next weekend (12/6) is the OVCX finale in Louisville. I haven't raced this course yet this year, so I'm looking forward to it. This season has been long indeed, but I have been having a great year and tons of fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Races

It was the best of races, it was the worst of races. Not really, they were both pretty good, but that's a good title and a good opening line. And yes, one race was better than the other.

This weekend was the Indy double-header, stops #12 and 13, of the OVCX series. Saturday was a new Indy venue and the course hosted by Speedway Wheelmen, Southeastway Park. After pre-riding the course, I liked it a lot. It was full of turns, but set up really wide, so it had tons of good flow. It was mostly flat, except for one "wall" of run up hill that was a total bastard. Anywho, my two main rivals in the series were not at this race, but I never discount anyone w/ two wheels under them, so I felt confident, but knew I had to watch for others. I had a not-so-great start (missed my pedal and floundered w/ it for what seemed like forever) and left the start straight 3-4th wheel. I quickly got to the front, and had two in tow. So the three of us shortly became two, which after 2 or so laps became one: me. I stayed off solo for the rest of the race and rolled in for my first OVCX win!
There was no podium presentation here, but a few people snapped pics of me at the line. It was nice to finally get one.
Pic below is from Saturday, just somewhere on the course.
And here is a link to a really cool photo of the barrier/run up.

Sunday went well, but not as well. Sunday was the Brookside CX, which is a "classic" Indy course; it's been used for many, many years. it was set up a little but different this year, all positive in my opinion. Brookiside also served as the Indiana State Championships, a title I held a few years ago and wanted to regain. It wasn't to happen this day though. The course starts on a long road climb, so going into the tape there were a lot more people in the mix than usual. It took about 3/4 of a lap for me to get away form the field, catch Josh Johnson, on of the main rivals for the year, and start the racing between him and I. Once we got clear, we traded off the lead and rode a very good, very fair race (no one doing all the work, not pulling through, etc.) So with one lap to go it was going to be either he or I. I had my attack 100% planned out. One problem though: he had his planned too and his was to occur before mine. He caught me completely by surprise, by I was not willing to let it go. I chased hard and pulled him back w/in ~3-5seconds, but that's all you need to win. My hat's off to him, he was smarter and faster today (for my ego's sake, he did NOT race yesterday and I did, so he was fresher than I, but still, he killed it).
He took top podium spot and In State4 title. I got silver. The dorky looking kid in third has been racing 4's, but moved up for this race. The race was between JJ and I, but this kid came in third behind us, not bad.
Sorry about linking to these pics, but they're un-stealable, but worth checking out:
Click here for a lesson in poor barrier technique (note: I hit it at a bad angle and w/ traffic, lots of people were falling on this barrier)(click here for Josh's lesson is sweet barrier technique)
Approaching the same barrier solo, I hit it cleaner.

Fred Rose took a strong 2nd in his race, but was the 1st IN finisher, winning the In State title for his Cat. Props.
Also, Mike Sherer rode to a good 2nd in the Elites (also 1st IN), and this is only his second race back after 6weeks off from a clavicle.
Thanksgiving week! Remember to be thankful for all you turkey, stuffing, cranberries, corn, rolls, noodles, green beans, pies, etc. Seriously.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sympathy for The Devil?

This is a clip from the 2009 Tour of California press conference.
It's about 3.5minutes long and worth the watch for cycling fans. It's Lance Armstrong responding to a question from former pro cyclist turned sports reporter for The Sunday Times in London, Irishman Paul Kimmage.
I can't believe this wasn't more widespread of a clip. Armstrong says in it he admires "as men" a list of convicted dopers. He also says, in the context of a question about doping, that "we all make mistakes" and "should be able to go on w/ our jobs." Amazing; seems the high and mighty Armstrong my have some sympathy for these "devils."

My training week has gone okay, though not exactly as I had it planned. Car repair and rain forced the change of a couple of days, but I'm still right about where I should be heading into the double-header weekend. Bikes are ready too. Bring the pain!
I think I found a 5k to do on Thanksgiving before heading home for a feast. I always used to do Muncie's "Turkey Trot" (because it started a 1 minute walk from my front door), but I hadn't found one in Bloomington. It looks like the Bloomington Bagel Company is holding one that is no charge, no timing, no awards, but free coffee and bagels. Score. Just too bad I found about it this year; for the past several years I have wondered what kind of god-forsaken town doesn't have a "Turkey Trot," a "Drumstick Dash" or a at least a "Wing Fling." I ripped off a low 22 on the last 5k I did on what I was told was a hard course. We'll see what kind of damage I can on this bad boy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gators, etc.

A friend of mine was in New Orleans last week and called to ask if I wanted her to bring me anything. I gave her a vague description of a store and an even more vague (vaguer?) description of where it is. She totally found it based on my terrible directions and brought me some alligator jerky.

I stocked up on these every time I've been there (2 I think), but I never noticed two things about it: 1) the second ingredient is beef and 2) it's made in Michigan. Oh well, it's good stuff and good to have friends willing to do cool stuff like that. And at least the first ingredient is alligator.
This week was good training wise, but I opted not to race this weekend, as the OVCX race was far east in OH, almost to PA. It too the Indy guys right at 3hrs, so I'd have been looking at a 3+hr drive. Whew, that's a lot of car time. I was having some shooting knee pain Monday, so I decided to skip riding altogether Tuesday; I didn't want to push a potentially tweeked knee. Then Wed I went out for a sweet little gravel road ride solo. It was nice, and I rode fairly hard w/ no pain in said knee. Thursday I rolled w/ a small group and rode a good hard loop of ~2hrs, which blew up and ended up just two of us trading big hard headwind pulls. Sweet. Today RS and I put in a good solid 2.5hrs on the road w/ a lot of climbing. We rolled it pretty fast considering the hills.
Oh, I got all my runs in this week too and felt really good. I was worried about running on a knee that had felt bad, but it was not a problem at all.
This weekend's the big Indy double-header. Southeastway Park cross Saturday and Brookside Park cross Sunday. I've raced at Brookside many times, but SEW is new. 4 races left in the series, no more f***ing around!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

No one else in the picture

Now if I can just find the picture.

"No one else in the picture" is a reference to a chapter of Joe Parkin's book "A Dog in a Hat." Basically, the phrase refers to a win, where you are so far ahead of second place that when the picture of you crossing the line is shot, you're the only person in the photo; no one else in the picture.
I finally got a win this year, and it was of this type.
Saturday was race #2 in the Indiana Cup Series which is a series within the Ohio Valley Series.
I took the hole shot, traded the front w/ another guy for one lap, then got a gap and never looked back. I rode super hard the entire race and the way the course was set up, there were a lot of places to mark the gap you had, and mine was growing every lap. I had enough of lead to ease off on the final lap and roll in for a solo V.
My comrade and training partner Fred Rose took the same kind of "W" in his race; w/ no one else in his picture. Good weekend for Bloomingtonians in Indy.
We went over to Broadripple after racing to eat, etc and were stopped by two (2) funeral processionals. The took for ever, but I guess in a city that has, like, 200 murders/year, getting caught in only 2 processionals probably isn't too bad.
Today (Sunday) there was a OVCX race, but it was in Lexington, KY and I wasn't up for driving that far. So I opted for a longish road ride instead. After Saturday's race I had some pains in my right leg (upper and lower), and it was bothering some today too, but I rode super good despite. I didn't bring enough food for the ride (given the efforts required in the stiff headwinds), and I bonked pretty hard with about 1/2hr to go. I got recovery drink in me as soon as I got home, then ate some good recovery food.
I also got my CX bike all cleaned up, and since I'm not racing this weekend hopefully it will stay clean for more than a few days this time! All the maintenance required racing CX is about as exhausting as actually racing CX.
The photos mixed in here are from the second race of the series in Louisville on Oct 4. I just came across them though. They're taken by frame builder Tim O'donnell.
Oh, and if you gaze to the right, you'll see I'm now twittering, or tweeting, or whatever it's called when you waste even more time assuming people give a crap about what you're doing. Yeah, that's me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Weekend pics

Here are a few pics from the Gun Club CX this past weekend:

The start (I'm dead center in orange/blue). Hoping the dude in green to my left doesn't take me out. I remember this guy before the start saying "how'd I get in the front row?" And me thinking 'I hope this guy can hold a line.' Apparently he couldn't.

Into the sand pit lap one: off the front (you can see the gap I'd created).


More barriers. This is a pretty good action shot of my awesome remount technique; I look like a rag doll being shaken.

Podium. I was cooling down on the road and missed my call to podium. I'd be standing where it says "Kenda" if I were more vigilant.

This weekend I think I am going to skip the Sunday OVCX race due to 1) it being in Lexington (far away) and 2)Lindsay wants the car to go ride MTB. So I am planning on going to an Indy CX race Saturday, and maybe doubling up and doing the Cat III race AND the Cat I, II, III race. Then riding long Sunday w/ RS. We'll see though, racing 2 races will be hard, seeing as sometimes I can barely stand after my race, let alone get back on and put forth that kind of effort again.
I also think my Dad is running a marathon in Indy Saturday so if it all works out time wise we may try to meet up w/ my parents somewhere for post race(s) food action.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hammer, brake, slide, repeat

Today's OVCX race was a mud-fest. The title is about how it was ridden, hammer anytime you could, then as soon as you got speed, brake for a turn of some sort, slide into, through and out of the turn, then hammer again. It also featured multiple run sections (some that would have been ridable in dry conditions, some that were run ups no matter what), but given the mud your shoes picked up tons of ground and 1)weighed about 5x what they normally would and 2) made clipping back in pedals very difficult at times.
I snapped this pic of my pedal and front derailler cluster, which are pretty packed w/ mud.
Also, it was muddy enough that Scott Bond took a pit stop to hose off his bike and shoes mid race (he was having a crappy race and decided to have some fun by pit washing during his race, it was hilarious really).

All that said, I did have a very good race though. I took the whole-shot and opened up a significant gap on most of the field in the first lap. Just one other dude bridged to me, and he's beaten me every time we've raced (usually by a lot to boot), but I'm not going to stop trying. Basically it was he and I trading the lead until 2 to go and he pulled away for good; I just couldn't match him.
So I rode in for a solid second place. I still don't know what my gap on third was, so I just rode as hard as I could the whole time.
I was very happy with my race an very happy with my result.
I can usually gauge my effort afterwards by how bad I feel and for long I feel bad (what I have dubbed "Effort Sickness"). Today I felt really bad for about an hour or so. And it was the kind of bad where I'm not sure I'm going to be able to drive myself home. That means I went really hard. But I got feeling better. And I made it home.