Entries in 2007 Cross Racing (21)
By good bud Brian Patrick of OnSight Media knows cross…as he’s ALWAYS in the thick of it, boots on, feet in mud, trotting around our courses with his hi-end cameras in tow shooting us in all our snotcicle-hanging glory.
He’s released a DVD that’s compiled the 2007-2009 State Championship races here in Colorado plus some bonuses like the 35 Opens from Blue Sky Velo’s race at Xilinx this year.
Local folks can head to Boulder Cycle Sport to pick up your copy for $20.
Remote or lazy folks can order on line here. Same price plus S & H.
Come re-live the glory…and the snotcicles…all in the comfort of your own home and flat screen.
There are certain things you notice in cross if you have been around the sport for a while. While you watch the muddy and pained expressions go by as you stand in a pair of Wellingtons by the course tape or on your bootlegged Sporza DVD's, a moderately trained eye can see the difference between those who have come to play, and those who have come to be pack fodder....
The way Erwin shoulders the bike in a motion fluid, you're not sure how it got there....
The smoothness of Ryan Trebon's remounting...done so precisely, it belies his height...
The way Wellens muds....running so efficiently with arm wrapped tight around his Ridley's head tube.
It all leaves these indelible impressions on my mind. I study it obsessively.
Now freeze it all. In fact, freeze it in black and white to strip away all the unnecessary color to focus on the form, frozen in time.
This is exactly what the latest crop of photographers are giving us around our local race courses in from Portland, Boulder, Seattle and Boston all the way to East Outnowhere, US on any given Sunday.
And they get it.
There's Joe Sales....
Study his photo here at Loenhut in 06. Perfect. It's what we see but don't absorb every week at the races as its not the obvious race action...but the beautiful white noise and peripheral movement going on during it. He got it.
....and Natearm from the Pac NW,
In my (untrained) opinion, Natearm's images are glaringly the most stunning. Lots of black and white with absolutely crystalline clarity. They are almost creepy to look at....but like a car wreck, I can't turn away. I get lost in them like when you used to watch that girl across the classroom in 6th grade twirl her hair around her finger. Perfect.
Russ and Nancy Wright from the Bay Area....
Ah, my old friends. It was their photos they took of my crappy Cat 50+ races a decade ago where I saw myself as a crosser for the first time....at least it helped me see an identity I longed for so long ago when I was falling in love. They specialize in the racer as a subject of the race itself....not as a subject of nature or a pawn caught in an art school project. They capture as we are.
Local Boulder photographer who makes the art his trade, is Steve Z. I've been trading mails and blog posts with him since last year's Boulder Cup and got to meet home for the first time at the CO States this Sunday! (Great to meet you man!).
If you study it hard enough, you get it: Steve is a core biker. It's less of what Steve captures, but when. Wrap that sense of timing with a layer of dripping art that makes you say, whoa, and you get Steve.
And lest I forget, take the time to visit Denver/Boulder area photographers Mark Wollcott, Joe Strandell and Jason Rice who's pictures I post often given the frequency we see each other and commune over 'cross. These guys are the heart and soul of the local cross scene capturing every cat, at every race for months on end for us to purchase for our keepsakes.
So there you have it. I hope I have been able to expose a few more great artists who are capturing our sport for us to remember for the rest of our lives. If you explore their sites, you get into viral mode where they link to their incredibly talented friends who also use celluloid as their medium, while we use Dugasts and mud as ours.
Sunday Sunday Sunday! Rrrrrace fans! It was a THROWDOWN in Lyons today! My G-O-D, I am a geekdified-uber-zoopa cross fan. I admit it. I am in love with this sport. As I type this, my big toes and thumb are still painfully de-icing with a touch of frostbite. but the smiles from the memories today are still here late at night. I couldn't sleep for the pain in the appendages so I figured I'd type while the memories are fresh.
Today began in sun and 20 degree temps and tons of snow. As mentioned yesterday, I knew it was gonna be an epic, so I packed everything I owned into the grocery getter. Both cross bikes and my 1 x 1 for good measure. I got to the race site in 10 minutes as Lyons is just a stones throw away from the Republic.
I parked next to the Kappius' and just as I am getting out and getting my crap on to warm up, Russ pulls up with a big shit eating grin, all giddy on the course and the fun he'd just had. He pumps me up and I suit up, reg, and roll the course.
Brian H and family did not disappoint! It was an awesome course, perfectly matched to the conditions. The course basically put you out on a long flat snowy fire road straightaway, then did this long arc around he snowy field perimeter putting you at speed into the woods. The woods offered TONS of technical features which made my mind numb with glee. Tight off cambers, ditches, switch backs. Absolute fun. The earlier categories had matted down some good lines so it was relatively flat and fast. Brian introduced 2 sets of well placed barriers....a small/technical run up double and a fast triple. Both were designed to have all the action in the central part of this park to congregate people. TONS of tents with beers, brats and bikes were all centered there.
So after a few hot laps, the legs had this snap....a snap that I hadn't felt in a while. I get back to the car, strip off the warm up kit and leave on the leg warmers and two layers up top. On my feet I have plastic bags, and two pairs of socks. On my hands, blue latex surgical gloves under Pearl Izumi AmPhibs. I slide on the insulated skin suit and as I am trying to get it over two craft base layers....SNAP! The friggin zipper busts!! Those suits are so insulated you simply CAN'T have much under them. (So when you see the pics below, I swear I haven't been eating Gouda cheese and whole milk for the month! Ha! I am fully Michelin-ed in that skin suit with TOO much crap on underneath!). At that moment, Chris Graelish and wife miraculously walk up and help me solve the problem. Chris is calm saying, "No stress man! We got ya covered." "You need me to grab your jacket from you at the start." Absolute class. Husband and wife carefully pin up my suit with safety pins and wish me luck.
Chris, you have unbelievable class.
I get to the line for my race., the Open Men's 35+ (Master A, Vet pro....whatever you call it in your respective parts of the country...) and it's a big field given the conditions...save for no Chris Phenecie nor Timmy Faia! What's up guys?? I get the call up as I STILL miraculously have some points. They send us on our way up the long snowy straightaway and I am settled in nicely into the top 8 or 9. More or less exactly where I want to be if not a place or too too far back. I am running Dugast Rhinos today on my white bike with 38 PSI in 'em. Capital P perfect. As we're going into the snowy curves, dudes are washing out. The WB had this occur and let me come around. I freight trained it to catch up and pace with Karl K who is a few seconds behind the leaders. I am feeling light an super deep. I can get it into the 42 x 14 and keep it pinned so I am happy.
By minute 30 I am now in a position where I am 15-20 seconds to the lead group consisting of Dennis Farrell, Eric Sheagley, Karl Kiester and Clay Harris. Dave Towle and Nat Ross are calling out the race and I can hear where the leaders are by their descriptions. People are screaming insanely at me to bridge. By minute 35 (probably 2 to go), the Spike Shooter duo of Brian Maslach and JJ Clark are bridging. Shit. These guys have all kinds of accolades to their palmares. I am not going down without a fight! Brian gets up to me and we're dicing. They are good riders and smart ones at that. Brian knew when to attack me and I drilled it to try and keep tempo but no go. Too many watts in them thar legs. JJ is next and he bridges and identically he bridges, rests and attacks smartly and I have no deep response to him. Enough that I am going as fast as all get up, but clearly I can see the why these guys are special.
I finish up strong in the clear a few seconds behind JJ in 7th. I can not complain! I am stoked on the result as it proves I am back and over my sickness. It also will help me go into this next month of training solidly for Belgium rather than trying to try and overcome more flu/cold/crap and then seek motivation to get on rollers or the bike.
After my race, I ended up hanging out and simply enjoying my day as a super fan! The 3's race was great with a young Robin Eckman demonstrably better than the entire (huge field). That kid will be something special. I hung out with great people and just talked 'cross ALL DAY. It was a geek fest.
The race of the day (if you discount mine....ha!) was absolutely the Men's Open. It was a 4 way race of Brandon Dwight, JHK, Danny Summerhill and Matt Pachoca. They ALL traded the front at least once with Danny putting in a late race attack. Brandon in the last lap had this unbelievable through-the-barriers pass of JHK (who was bobbling with snow in his pedals and Longman captured RIGHT HERE!) to bridge to Danny. The WHOLE mass of spectators rushed from that section through the woods to the finish area to see Danny take Dubba by 2 seconds. I thought you had it Brandon! You made me HOARSE yelling for you!
So that's it folks! My CO 'cross racing for 2007 is finito! 13the place overall in the series which is what it is. Not my 'goal' per se but inexplicably hard-earned and definitely fun doing it.
Here's my digital celluloid before the batteries ran out!
Longman got some INEXPLICABLY great pics today of nearly ALL races. You are turning out to be the next Graham Watson. All Longman's pics can be seen here, but I'll leave you with this beauty:
Jason Rice donated these absolutely remarkable pics he snapped while hanging out at the race before leaving. Thanks for standing out in the cold Jason!! PLEASE visit his his site! Note the close ups of the ghetto pins holding my skin suit together! Ha!
The Birdman got some AWESOME pics! Thanks hombre for helping me document this day!!
OK, in the last 24 hours, I've had my fill of the pow pow. We made it up Berthoud Pass Friday and back down it yesterday for a trip up to Winter Park for a school related thing for my big guy. Volvo power. There is no substitute. Love that grocery-getter.
Today. Lyons f-ing CO, hombres and hombrettes. Home of the States as mentioned in previous posts. I just looked out the wondow. 4.5" of the white stuff and coming down. It's going to be EPIC and I am amped! Ha! This is gonna be a full on St. Wendel...
I've got the new Verge uber-warm skin suit ready for today and some Freddy's Extra. Bags on the feet and blue latex gloves under the other layers. I'm wondering who's gonna not be able to make it! The roads are shite. Today reminds me of one of the first races I did here in CO. It was a BoulderRacing event (like today's) so I am sure Brian H knows the drill.
That race, I had NOTHING in terms of cold weather gear. Crappy Defeet knit gloves, basic base layer stuff and essentially a set of slicks/fast course tires on. Awesome stupidity. Since then, I've raced in lots and lots of snow, so for me it's just another day at the office.
This is it folks! No Nats for me as I cashed in the majority of my daddy/husband points for Belgium. Wiser choice me thinks. More later once I get through with the Battle of the Bulge today in Lyons.
Coming up: Coloardo State Championships. Now, for non-Coloradans, you'll be interested to know that there are two State Championships. The USCF States (a.k.a. the 'Durango States') and the ROTS* Championships. Weird, but we all know what the real one is. Ha! The course shockingly will not be at Xilinx this year (as it always/traditionally is...I'll have to get the scoop as I love that course and its bunny hop-able ditch). This year, it is in Lyons CO....just North of Boulder in a new park. I'll be reconning this but I hear it's grassy and flat.
I'm feeling better and better since last weekend and today showed good signs. All I know is that the work is in and the head feels happy. I want to finish up strong as I can and move on into some training before Belgie.
Photo by Jason Rice
*ROTS: Rest of the State Championships.
So, imagine I had an IM chat with the devil last week.....
Handsome_Devil: GK You there?
Handsome_Devil: NP. While you're on mute playing biz dev fool, think about racing this weekend.
Handsome_Devil: You are such a galactic _ _ssy!
Handsome_Devil: P _ SSY!
Handsome_Devil: Cross is for _ussies. Oh wait. You cross, right? Therefore...
Handsome_Devil: Yes you will, GK, yes, you will. Boo wah ah ah ah ah!
And so it went folks, against all instincts, the devil made me do it. I have had mad flu with awesome ear infection and a hack since Wednesday. The only cure: more cowbell. All in all, a decent day which I can not complain about. More on that later...
Today's ACA action took place at Bear Creek Lake Park in lovely Golden (or maybe Morrison). Home of Coors and Yeti. Sweet. The course was absolutely the most fun yet this season...where fun is relative to the mountain biker's fun meter. Today featured lots of rollers, awesome single track, a bunny hop-able barrier (with another set of boards on the other side run up) and well timed sand traps. It was a fun fun course. The day started up in The Republic with 20 degree weather, 70 mph winds and sheets of ice on the street. The 50 minute drive due south was 10-20 degrees warmer with beautiful sun and zero win.d.
I got there and pre-road and loved it. Even with a fever, I was smiling....and could care about placing. I needed to be out there (again, the devil made me do it). The 35 Opens today was not a humongous field. Probably 20+ riders with most of the usual suspects in tow. I lined up 2nd row. Gun went off and we shot up a paved hill and nearly immediately on to the first sand trap. The sand trap exit was also the finish line so either the course designers knew it was going to be a clear winner in each cat or for sure they are sadists and wanted a running sprint through the sand side by side across the line. The sand was not ridable as it was super deep and dog legged sharply.
By the 2nd and 3rd laps I am rolling OK with Jeff W, Jeff H and Jared S. All is good in the hood. I figured it would stay this way. We went around a few laps together and I'd take them on the run ups and through the barriers and put more distance on them through the bunny hop barrier, but I had no depth in leg speed to keep the gaps I'd open due to the flu. So they'd bridge back to me each time. And so those antics went on like that for a few laps until my rubber band finally broke and I had to let them go and I spun alone. By the 2nd to last lap, this guy was coming on hard from behind. After knowing how I felt on the run ups, I let this guy bridge to me as we went through the sand trap and past the ACA officials counting riders....and when he made contact, I sat up. I let this poor guy pull me all the way around the course on the bell lap until the barriered run up and then I just had to drop that dude (sorry man!....but, uh, not so sorry). I flew up the run up Wellens style, re mounted and the gap I put in was too much for him so I rolled in nice and easy over the line. Took 9th. Some points earned which is cool but more happier just to have raced. Up yours devil.
After my race, I sat with Matty O while he warmed up. We watched rider after rider in the 4's try to bunny hop that barrier and some of the most horrific face plants I've ever seen occurred. I SHOULD HAVE had my camera out to tape that sheeit and YouTubed it. But alas, you get nothing. Matt and I watched AC have what should have been a break through race but home boy rolled a Dugast after some foolio took him out so I had to help him swap bikes. Luckily I had my spare in the pit so I threw on my wheel for him and he finished up the race. AC, you were going to punch a hole in that race today boy! You looked great. Pound for pound, in all sincerity, you had the best form bar none. Even the leader who had some leg speed had no form near yours. You are hard Belgian.
So while he's warming up, I told Matt that he was for sure going to win the 3's today and he should just accept it. He says, "Ya think?" I says, "Yup."And so it came to be. Matty O laid the wood down and got him a shiny 'x' in the W column. Nice, boy. I'm proud of you. Sorry I couldn't stay.
So I got home and the little men helped me with the bikes. As you can see, not much mud but the perfect kind. The Dugasts at 40lbs were SICK! Perfect. Not once did they come unhitched off of the muddy single track and hard apex turns.
States next weekend and then 'done'.....that is until I start some more training to ramp into January and the coming of the Mol.
I am a slacker as of late thus the lack of posts! Plus, I do not want to be a continual whiny bitch in my posts which I am unfortunately turning into a little bit these days...but I'm always trying to find the silver linings to the crappola and write about that, whilst the smelly and hay encrusted bullshit howitzer shells are being salvoed at me, over me and around me. I'm tired of writin' it, you're tired of readin' it! So, let's move on, shall we?
Looks like Co Springs was a dirt crit yesterday. Good on ya guys who got out there. Super small fields. I want to hear some reports!
While the dirt crit was going on, WB, Weber and I communed with John G, Freeride Zach Greg P and Rocco up in Nederland. Dave Hix and Rob S showed up JUST after we had left. Sorry guys!! Oh God. It was dee-lish. We got lots of the braap braap in on all the old favorites. We were trading paint, pulling epic wheelies. table-ing and snaking through monumentally gorgeous single track like little boys. No start whistles, embrocations, tension, goat heads, rolled tires. Just smiles.
Did I bring my camera? Yes. Did I leave it in the car? Yes again. Beat.
The Moots performed like a bag of bolts. I literally hung it up on the wall after the last short track over the summer and have bene riding my 1 x 1 ever since. I think I had 3 maybe 4 operative gears. Probably enough! But, was annoying as shit. On this steep rise coming out of a river gully, I stepped on it and...PING!...chain blows right off and throws my knee cap into the Thomson stem. Son of a BEEATCH! Standing right there is this older, totally mellow core MTB'er. He asks if I am OK, I grunt a somtehinsomethin and like he knows something I don't, reaches out and hands me his chain tool. I reach in to my bag and as I am doing this, realize exactly where I left it mine...on my work bench in my car hole.
Serendipity. I think it was Jesus himself intervening to me. Or maybe just a smart old hippy looking at a dumb ass Boulder-ite with limited tools.
So it was just epic with the RM Mafia up there at 9K. The snows will be coming....some day....and it was good to do the silent stuff with my homies. It was a re-set button for sure.
Re-calculate. Re-calibrate. Re-set wheels on tracks. Re-set. Re-charge.
The WB's (way) better half fired up her new DSLR and grabbed some fantastic pics of last weekend's races. Here's a re-cast:
And another Jeff C pic.
Jeff C's lady caught this one of J-Pow. Check out the front clincher.
The Boulder Cup @ Harlow Platts