Monday, October 25, 2010

USGP Weekend

This weekend was the USGP of Cyclocross in Louisville, KY. It was held at the new home of LV CX, Eva Bandman park, which as the sing notes will be the venue for the 2013 World Championships.
Me and some friends got a hotel ~1mile from the course and two of us went down Friday afternoon to ride the course before racing Saturday.
The course was awesome and a lot of really cool features. I've only raced on a handful of courses in the tri-state area, and I've only seen European courses on tv or the internet, but this looked like a true European course (which is good, because they hosting Worlds after all). It had steep downhills followed by short steep uphills (run-ups) and long flat fast sections connecting them and a couple sand pits and a "flyover" in between.

Our race is a combined Cat 2/3 race and as such had >150 riders in the field (which is waaay too many; they need to split this\is into two separate races). I had start #48 Sat and 50 Sun. So I was starting in 50th place both days, basically. The front row is all called up riders, so numbers start on the second row, w/ 8 riders/row. So I was ~7 row back; a pretty big deficit. I went in w/ the attitude "'ll do everything I can to start well, and if anything goes wrong in the start, I'll 'just ride it in.'"
Saturday I had an okay start and was moving forward the whole race. I managed to make it to 12th for the finish. I was able to latch onto a few different groups of riders and pick them of as the race unfolded. I was able to ride a clean race w/ minimal "traffic problems" and was pretty happy w/ the day.

Sunday went okay as well, but I got caught behind several crashes and/or botches. Add to that that I was feeling the previous day's effort and I had a worse day. I rode myself into 21st which is still okay, but not great.
All in all I had a super fun weekend though. Racing, hanging out w/ friends, etc. It was fun to get a hotel and make a weekend out of it. We spent most of the weekend hanging out w/ T O'D of Shamrock Cycles. We all went to dinner both nights in downtown Louisville, which is a really cool downtown.
So another USGP in the books. Looking forward to next year, assuming it doesn't interfere w/ Hilly 100 weekend. And w/ hopes of separate 2/3 fields.
This weekend it's back to Louisville for another OVCX series race. For some reason they're holding the race at the old USGP race site rather than using one of the country's only dedicated CX parks (if not the country's only CX park) and home of the 2013 Worlds. The old course is fine and all, but c'mon, we have gem here...
(photo credits to Luther Prater and Scott Bond)

Monday, October 18, 2010


This weekend was the second annual hometown race, "Bloomingcross." The venue was new this year, at Karst Farm Park just West of town. The venue and the course were both great. I had an okay result, but somewhat disappointing race. I raced hard and left it all out there, but I got tangled up in the sand on the first lap and jammed my pedal hard into my left calf.

(the sand. Local home-slice Erik Hamilton passing through)

Sticking my pedal into my calf cause it (the calf) to instantly knot-up. This knot then pulled on my hamstring, which then cramped every time I had to take a step (which thankfully there was only 1 dismount on the course or I would have been totally hosed). So for the 30sec-1min after the barriers I was trying to shake out my hamstrings from crampage, which is not the way to be riding after a barrier section.
Eventually I resigned myself to walking over the barriers so that I could ride after them. My thought was 'I can run these barriers, then spend ~a minute trying to shake out these cramps, or just walk them and be able to pedal after them.' I think I made the right choice, though it really screwed up my race flow. However, before I figured out the "strategy" I was just flailing over the barriers and one time I stuck my right knee into my pedal while "high stepping." Needless to say I was falling apart and I eventually came unhitched from the group of 4 I was in (I was behind a Red Zone rider and it split in front of him, he couldn't close so I had to attack him to try to close, but I had to just watch the other two ride a way). Then a guy I've raced road/MTB/CX against for years made a final lap charge on me and I could only tell him "good job" as he dropped me.
I still finished in the money (14th), but I had hoped for a better hometown showing.
Today (Monday) I feel as though I've been hit by a bus; I guess that's good and means I raced hard.
Thanks to Chris Bohnam for coming out and everyone else too (except the food vendors, which there were rumored to be two and were actually 0).
This weekend is the USGP race(s) in Louisville. Being a Cat 2 means I'm likely to be starting in the back of a ~150+ rider field of Cat 2's and 3's, so I go into it w/ no real expectations and see what I can do.
Until then, I gotta get these legs feeling better and get going again!
(photo's stolen from Ren-Jay Shei thanks bro.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hilly weekend...another in the books

Just like that, the Hilly 100 has come and gone. Which means two things:
tunnels of fall color in Southern IN

and sweet handlebar set ups such as this tasty little number:

Believe your eyes. It's upside down drop bars w/ aero bars; only at Hilly 100 (oh yeah, this is on a tandem to boot).

I changed up the routine last week knowing I wouldn't be riding at all this past weekend. I stacked three hard days (Tues, Wed, Thurs), which isn't that big of a deal really, but I haven't done back-to-back-to-back hard days on a few months, so I felt it for sure. I had my eye on the prize though, the anticipated fitness gains knowing that I would "recover" all weekend.
As for the recovery, working Hilly 100 is probably worse for recovery than racing. We are on our feet four many many hours over the three days and doing loads of repetitive "heavy" lifting. I'm sore in a lot of new places.
But we love working Hilly. It's a chance to see some people I don't get to see very often and chance to hang w/ my homies from Indie Bike Clothing store. Plus we make madd bank. And there's nothing wrong w/ that.
Now it's back to another ~8weeks of hitting it during the week and racing CX nearly every weekend. Boo-ya.

Monday, October 04, 2010

OVCX #2 Tour de Louisville

This weekend was stop #2 in the Ohio Valley CX series, the Tour de Louisville. My week leading up to this past weekend was slightly different than normal because I had a friend/coworker moving from town and we got together after work Wednesday and ate/drank some beers when I would normally be at our local CX practice session on Wed eve. I went out to the practice course and did a workout on Wed morning instead, so I had a fairly normal week training, just in a little different order.
The temps have dropped here and it was a cold morning in Louisville. Luckily, unless it's sunny and 80+ I pretty much pack everything I own, so I had clothing down (I did have to change a couple times to get it right, but but that's better than overheating or freezing [overheating in this case]).
I got a front row start and got a good start once we got going. The course was super hard though and I don't want to say I struggled, but I I had a rough go at it. I didn't really come unglued, but I never really got focused and rallied. I'm three races in and still trying to hit my stride.
I ended up 15 and in the money. Okay place, though I didn't feel like I had a good race; I thought I did worse.
I have this weird aversion to eating on race days. I somehow convince myself I don't need real food. But the fact is I would eat considerably more if I were doing nothing all day. I need to start forcing myself to eat more before hand and to take real food with me and eat it while waiting around. I have been getting by on some cereal really early (~8hr before race), a banana later and a Cliff bar during the day. But on a normal work day I eat way more than that. It's totally stupid and I need to work on this because the last three races I've done have been over 1,000 cal/hour efforts. that's working very hard.
Anywho, this weekend is stops #3,4,5 of the OVCX and I'll miss all three. It's the big Cinci-nasty UCI 3 day weekend, but it's also Hilly 100 weekend here and I can't not work Hilly 100. So while I'm kind of bummed to miss the Cinci-nasty weekend, Hilly's always fun and lucrative.
So that's that until next time.
(I'll post some pics form the weekend of I can find some)