I’m not sure I will ever master high altitude racing. Each year I travel up the hill I have a game plan on how to manage the efforts required for cross at 9,200ft above sea level. Don’t go too hard off the gun/monitor efforts/Know that everyone is suffering/Ensure a killer warm up before the gun…
It all cycles through my head when heading to Frisco or Breckenridge Nordic Centers (when we used to race there). This past weekend was the Frisco cross…a double header weekend with Day 1 being a ‘Colorado Cross Cup’ points–chasing race. Tim and Scott do a great job with this event, busting their carcasses to get it right…always asking the racers for feedback, likes/dislikes etc. It’s a good thing to go and support those guys for what they do to give us a fun time.
My body is firing pretty good these days. Sleeping well, getting on the bike in the cool air of the fall mornings here in CO. Besides a small head cold, I was amped to race and stay clean. Robson and Faia are absolutely on a stratospheric level…racing just superbly and putting us on the ropes. The ‘second group’ is where the racing has been with each of us in this (frankly) freakishly similar level of fitness which has made the racing super tactical and forcing you to stay super smooth…
Learn How To Ride The Sand!
A Special Cross Clinic with Belgian Ben Berden
Wed. Oct 5th/5:30pm/Boulder Reservoir
Greetings Cyclocross Riders!
We are happy to announce a special clinic with one of the world's top cyclocross racers! Belgian's Ben Berden (Ops Ale - Clement) is in town to prepare for this weekend's USGP race in Ft. Collins and will be sharing his tips and tricks for riding through sand pits this Wednesday evening at the Boulder Reservoir. Ben is one of the top sand-riders in the world with 15 years of racing experience. He is also a 3-time winner at Koksijde, Belgium, one of the most difficult sand courses in the world and site of this season's World Championships. His techniques will also be useful for riding mud and snow, conditions we are sure to encounter later this cross season. Of course, we will also be working on mounting and dismounting and other cross skills with BCS CX Team Ambassadors Pete Webber, Kristin Weber and Brandon Dwight.
When: Wednesday, Oct 5th at 5:30, sharp! Ready to ride
Where: Boulder Reservoir main parking lot. Map Here: http://ow.ly/6LWeh
How Much? It's free!
Other: If you drive, you will likely need to park outside of the gate and ride to the meeting spot. If you ride to the clinic, please bring a light because it will be dark when you ride home. THERE WILL BE NO REGULAR CLINIC AT BCS-NORTH THIS WEEK - you will have to join us at the Res!
Clinics. Seminars. One on one training with friends. Group training with the Boulder Cycle Sport Cyclocross club team. Junior coaching…we spout the gospel of cross and we LOVE it! The Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassadors team site is now live for you to learn more about our great sponsors and keep up with the latest news of our Ambassador team members Brandon Dwight, Allen Krughoff, Pete Webber, Kristin Weber and yours truly.
While the rest of the country was getting bombarded with rain, the high country was as dry as a bone. This weekend brought only a single day of racing, the Boulder Racing Series (no. 2) at Xilinx. It’s a favorite course for Coloradoans with just enough elevation gain, pavement, woods, obstacles and off-camber. A little something for everyone if not more favored to the roadies of the group given it’s long power-paved sections.
35 Open Race
Here in ACA-land call-ups this year are being handled by our East Coast friends at Cross Results. This is interesting as it is using some pretty neat algorithms to assemble the order of riders based on data the ACA provides…which shows a precisely wrong but generally correct ordering of the crew. These guys are data geeks like me and I appreciate the time they are taking to make this all right for us around the country.
The 35 Open crew was called to the line using the Cross Results-generated list and clearly folks had their game faces on. All of us wanted to show well…and at least make it a bit hard for Robson who is absolutely ripping (and never seems to un-rip!).
And so there we are. Lined up. Waiting. All of us know that feeling before the start…
My bud from my west coast family, Brian Vernor, sent this along. If you are in SF, you MUST go and attend this. I miss that scene, those people, those races dearly.
For the last month or so, I have been honored to work with the youth of Boulder as a coach for Boulder Junior Cycling. It has been nothing short of amazing and gratifying thus far to be able to work with these kids…ranging in ages from 8 to 17. So much going on in their little lives as they show up, kit-up, throw a leg over their bike and listen to our instructions, our shouting, “do it again!”, repetitions…you know what I’m talking about. But think about it from their perspectives…
You and me? We have no problems. We can bitch about call up procedures, work getting in the way of our training, equipment malfunctions that caused us that 10th place. We’ve got no problems. These kids inspire me deeply.
One 9 year old child showed up at one of the initial practices a month ago. Absolutely, positively had no idea what cyclocross was…but it looked like fun when he saw it ONE TIME at the Boulder Cup at the shopping mall last year. This, then, 8 year old told his parents he wanted to be a racer like ‘that.’ So at this initial practice he shows up with a massively heavy mountain bike…and sincerely, a level of coordination that would not allow him to ride his bike ‘paper boy style’ (pulling a leg off and coasting with one foot on the pedal). It felt at the time that it would be a long fall for this young man. He never gave up. Each week a little better. I watch him struggle like hell to dial in the instruction we give him…now on a cross bike and already advanced to clip-less pedals. I watch him come in last in the drills and asking questions…and simply just being present as he soaks it up like a sponge. He doesn’t show embarrassment. He doesn’t complain or feign tiredness.
This boy wants it.
This boy wants to be there.
This boy sees an image of himself and what he wants and is grabbing it.
What’s your vision? More importantly, what’s your excuse?
My coach, training partner and good friend Frank Overton of FasCat Coaching walks us through an analysis of power output in a 'cross, specifically the Boulder Racing Series #1 at Valmont Bike Park during the 35A race this past Saturday. Frank recorded his power via his Quarq powermeter supplied by SRAM. The data is demonstrated with TrainingPeaks WKO+ software. Frank talks about the spikes in power and the need for various training techniques such as motor pacing and Tabatas as key ingredients to simulate the speed and 'spikiness' of power in a cross.
In 2007, I remember distinctly when Brandon showed up at a Wednesday Worlds on a Time cyclocross bike with brake levers made from carbon fiber. “Dude, you’re riding Campy?” I said as they were the only products we’d seen at the time with carbon levers. “No, check these out! New from SRAM. It’s called Force.” And so the relationship began with the company and before we knew it, we were ALL on the groups. I’d never seen anything like it before in terms of adoption.
Fast forward and SRAM has played a major role in the Boulder Cycle Sport Ambassador’s team success. Multiple National Championship wins (4), State Championship wins (2) and countless podiums, crashes, mud-fests, gear changes later, and we’re still shifting to success with SRAM.
This year SRAM has a new twist on their top of the line group, SRAM Red. The twist is to black it all out! The BCS team’s “A” bikes are all dialed in with SRAM Red ‘Black’ with “B” bikes being equipped with the Force group. We finally have the bikes together and a few races under their belts, and before they get sullied with the wear and tear of a season, I wanted to show the Ridley X-Fires in a state with their SRAM bits hanging in their miraculously-clean splendor.
The 58cm Ridley X-Fire complete with SRAM Red,
I’ve talked before about cross and its meaning for me above and beyond just being a sport. It’s an anchor for me in the calendar…helping me pull my spirit through the dog days of late winter and spring, through the challenges of life and work. It’s a beacon that pulses to help me remember I am an athlete.
Cross is a reason for existence. Of course not the reason. It’s one of the core pillars of my life
This is just too good to be true. I was able to meet Frischi before at Cross Vegas some years back and shared a beer after our race. But my bud Mike Hogan has continued my bromance (or stalking) with Thomas even further. Thank you Mike for making this happen. I am complete.