Entries in 2009 Cross Racing (49)
Testicles are an awesome invention. Actually it should be awesome with a capital 'A' and italicized. Yes, testicles. They can bring you such joy, like a gaggle of children and equally bring you such pain like when they get kicked....or in my case pancaked on my saddle by the single most unPRO means possible: the mis-mount. Ball squashing tales in a second....
Yesterday was Boulder Racing No. 1 at the Louisville Rec Center. A course that is a mountain biker's paradise, more than a criterium racer's playground. Technical climbs, bumpy grass descents and tons of barriers would ensure the 'crossers ruled the day.
The sun was blazing at 9:45 AM when the 35 Master's toed the line. Brandon and Jeremiah had the Boulder Cycle Sport tent up and active providing awesome support to just about anyone who needed help. My Ridley's were ready to go...but I was not sure about the body as I woke up heady and tired from the long trip to SSWC and CrossVegas.
Call ups done, the pretty large field waited in anticipation for the whistle. My plan was to 'not work' and just see how the body would come around and do something late in the race.
"Tweeeeeeet!" we're off and I roll fairly easily from the start...sort of parade lapping the field into the race and easing up the tempo to try and get folks into some level of discomfort and see who is ready to giddy up. This worked and my team mate and today's race promoter Brian Hludzinski and I peeled off a few and got a big gap right away.
The players came to play fairly quickly and by lap 3 with Mitch Westall, Brian H, Denis Farell, Mike Hogan, Michael Robson, a Mafia racer who is a super nice guy yet whose name I am spacing on and yours truly. Well, I got what I wanted in a split and a dream scenario came to pass: my teamie Brian broke lose and laid wood and I merely had to sit in. That is, if I could stomach it while not feeling so hot this AM.
So we rolled lap after lap and places were swapped; Denis would lead, then me, then Robson. Mitch would attack, Hogan would come by and so on. An attack would go and I'd wheel suck to cover. Pretty standard issue. Robson was on a tear with the Mafioso and I was glued. Denis, Hogan Brian and Mitch were in eye shot. We crested the hill, Dubba screaming at me that they're tring up front! I'm thinking: shit, I'm tired too! And then, sweeping through the barriers and going for the remount...it happened: The ball squash.
Ed: Ladies and children, this is your time to bail on this post...you have been warned.
I teach in my clinics to STABILIZE the rear of the bike on uneven surfaces. Why? So you do not mis-mount. What do I do? Not stabilize the rear of course. The Dugasts rattled and bounced and as I am in mid flight, caused the seat to move just a wee bit the wrong way.
Skoplooooooooopsh. The right nut. I've been nutted.
At first the pain made me get sick in my gullet instantaneously. I was going to vomit. Nut-pain is like none other. For the ladies (if you made it this far), I suspect if someone took a baseball bat and schwapped your boob, you'd not take it kindly. Now wrap those things in a mass of nerves and veins and all kinds of pluming and then get it schwapped. Electric pain. Pain that coud force you to eject anything out of both ends upon impact. Eyes closed (while still riding mind you) I opened my skinsuit all the way down and jammed a whole arm down there to inspect and ensure Mr. Left's partner Mr. Right didn't get pushed up into....God knows where. I messed with my junk as the pain waves reached my feet and head...radiating simultaneously. Unsheathing my buried hand from the depths of the skinsuit, I saw Robson and Mafia man ride away. I'd have to re-start the engines and stay the course....pedaling initially like a duck until The Twins decided to feel comfortable. Alas, the nut-pain turned to into anger and I went in pursuit, never to get on the train. Only meters and seconds to the 6th wheel away but so be it. Top 10 in 7th so I can't complain.
Moral of the story: stabilize, children. Stabilize those rear ends.
I skipped the Buena Vista race today as it came to pass and have what seems like H1N1 in the house. I feel like a steam roller wiped me out. Frisco next week. I love the courses those folks build. Shite weather? Hope. Hup hup.
I'm back from the trip and what a trip it was! I am going to do a re-cap post next week but wanted to share some pictures with you of InterBike and CrossVegas. What great memories! I am shocked at all the people screaming their heads off to push us all on lap after lap. Totally motivating.
This Flickr set includes my own personal photos as well race action shots from the incredible lenses of:
Enjoy the pictures for now (I'll be adding more to this Flickr set too so come back and see these again!) and stay tuned for an upcoming post.
Yesterday was Durango to Flagstaff AZ. Fantastic drive seeing parts of teh country I've never been able to before. Surreal landscapes that went from desert to volcanic moonscapes to high elevation forest. Amazing.
Today I'm in route to Vegas. 250 miles and I should be there early. I have some meetings for work which I am excited about and my co-worker Perry is in flight to meet me today.
Dubba FINALLY gets here tomorrow and I am missing my compatriot. We're going to get our cross on.
Lastly my latest VeloNews diary is up and live! You can read the story of meeting Bryce Wright of AZ Bikes here in Flagstaff. Also, click on the picture above to see my Flickr album from the photos from yesterday.
It's on like Donkey Kong
- Two smelly cyclocross racers
- One minivan
- 2 cyclocross bikes
- 2 single speed mounain bikes
- 2 laptops
- 1 Camera
- 1 MiFi
There will be work. There will be bike riding. There will be beer. The road trip will be blogged.
On your marks, get set…GO! We’re off folks. The Colorado cyclocross racing season got underway with a fantastic back to back weekend of racing. Colorado Springs Pike’s Peak ‘Cross and VeloCross…a new course right here smack dab in the middle of Boulder literally on and THROUGH the Boulder Indoor Cycling Velodrome’s compound!
I’ll get to the racing action in a bit but it’s amazing that we’re ‘here’ again. Unbelievable. For the last month or so I’ve started to ramp things up and get the corpse used to the high end efforts. I’ve entirely changed my focus on how I train this year by putting ENJOYMENT at the front of everything…where typically that enjoyment came compliments of fat knobby tires. March through May consisted of weekend after weekend of 4-6 hour MTB epics. By mid summer I dumped any and all gears and rode my 29’er Roshambo single speed until I felt like my legs were going to explode (all the while smiling wide at how sick and simple that bike is). Finally by late summer it was time to get geared again and I threw my leg over my cross bikes and got used to the new equipment while torturing myself sadistically interval after interval. Racing as training? Meh…it’s all about the‘cross so why do a crit any more. Why pay to ride mountain bikes…although every now and again it’s fun to throw down on nice courses. Flowing in the woods with my friends is about all I need. On to the racing….
Pike’s Peak – Saturday 9/12/2009
The boys came back all fired up and lined up to kick off the 2009 season. Mark Legg, JJ Clark, Chris Phenecie, Michael Robson and a slew of other hard men lined up to do battle in the elite master’s group. It turns out it was the race of the day given the throw downs and balance within the field. The course was classic Colorado with lots of dodgy loose dirt corners, pot holed grass sections and undulating terrain. I ran my Ridley’s with 34 Dugast Typohoons at some low pressure which helped hook up in the nastiness.
Everyone raced clean and put out. I felt really pretty good for it being so early. I need you to appreciate how vicious the attacks guys like JJ Clark and Mark Legg can put down. So difficult to cover as these are two unbelievable bike racers but I maintained myself in the front as best I could and just waited to try and work with folks to reel them back…until a true Colorado racing moment occurred:
Tumbleweed. Yup: through and in between every gear in the rear. Dunno how it got there but when it stopped any turning of the rear wheel or shifting, I sat there and laughed for a second until I hupped the bike to the pit and grabbed the freshie to finish the race. Hilarious. No one was catching JJ or Mark who went on to win. I grabbed 7th place after losing 3 places outright fetching the other bike. Portland may have its mud, but we’ve got some serious high desert drama to contend with. Ha! Have a look here at some of the fantastic photos my main man Rob from www.ultrarob.com took of the race as well.
VeloCross – Sunday 9/13/2009
Let’s just say that this may be a race that sticks. I tweeted a bit about my concerns about this new and untested race being listed as a ‘BCR’ event (the regions points competition for ‘cross). As it turns out, the race was super fun and well spectated. The course essentially wove itself around the Boulder Indoor Cycling compound, an area down in a very industrial/warehouse-y part of town. A true ‘urban’ course which could likely be used as a model for inner city promoters who may want some help on how to lay out courses with limited space and limited grass. The course took us from grass featuring 180 degree turns to pavement sections…up stairs and directly into and out of the Boulder Indoor Cycling facility itself. In one door and out another! It was a unique course and the racers I spoke with all agreed it brought smiles.
We had a great field again and I felt that my legs were good after Saturday’s opening salvo and it was a course that if I could win the hole shot I could likely hold off and work with the strongest to sort out the rest of the race. I truly felt like I had a shot. So as the gun was sounded what I wanted came to pass which was to get to the front and first to the 180 degree turn around. I wanted to make it super difficult for everyone and try and shake out who would play. My homies, Chris Phenecie, Mike Hogan, team mate Brian Hludzinski and my mate from Oz, Michael Robson all came to trade and work. On an off it went; the race changing leadership 6 times I was told.
Bombing into and out of the Boulder Indoor Cycling Center was pretty fun. You’d run into a door, remount, then power back a 180 through and over the obstacle course (just a part of it actually). The fans were hollering and it was super fun.
We kept the pace hard and with leaders taking turns crashing or having mechanicals, I found myself out front in the last part of the race. I’m thinking that if I keep the pressure on and ride clean, maybe, just maybe, I could have some hands up action. Unbelievably Chris Phenecie and Mike Hogan used their super powers to bridge back. I was in awe with their fantastic riding. I ended up taking a 3rd place, in the money and happy to have an understanding of where my motor is these days while having a boat load of fun at the race.
On to the fun stuff: The 2010 equipment! Pike’s Peak was the debut of the Ridley X-Night duo under fire…and BOTH had to be used during the race as I mentioned due to the lovely tumbleweed attack.
The Boulder Cycle Sport crew cranked out the second bike for me in time for finite adjustments and dialing in of the new 2010 SRAM Force group. Immediately I noticed how the Q-Factor of the BB30 was in comparison to the SRAM Red with Truvativ BB30 inserts to run my normal bottom bracket…
Here’s the SRAM Red with the Truvativ inserts for utilizing the normal SRAM Red bottom bracket.
Now here’s the SRAM Force. Note the narrower profile of the crank arms. Narrower but not so narrow that it is causing me any issues. It actually feels more comfortable!
Overall the Force grouppo for 2010 is fantastic. It’s essentially Red for all I can tell. The bikes weigh the same and the shifting is as tight if not tighter than it’s Red counterpart.
Ergonomically speaking, I like the feel of the Force levers better than my Red levers. While similar, there is less of a outward flair in the levers themselves which is noticed when you have the hoods a bit higher for cross than you would for road.
I am running 175 length cranks married to 46 x 39 front rings with either 12 x 27 SRAM PG 1070 PowerGlide cassettes or 12 x 25 Dura Ace Cassettes (simply due to me having a gaggle of these and they work OK with my SRAM drive trains). See some close ups shots I took of the bikes and new 2010 Force. Yum.
Both front and rear are Force. Given the Ridley’s internal cable routing, barely any cable shows so shifting through some muck thus far this season (Sunday) has been spot on. I’m looking forward to some real crap weather.
Well, it looks like SSWC09 in D-town followed by a road trip to VEGAS! (baby..). Stay tuned….
Full posts tomorrow but...BANG...we got shocked into our first day of racing here in Colorado today with races today and tomorrow. Some teasers....
UltraRob was there with his mad lenses and tweeted this one out to me. Thanks bro!
As was my team mate Walter Knapp! Caught me about to lap some dude with Robson coming on fast.
It is VERY safe to say that the 2010 SRAM Force group is mad. Super light and precise. Full details coming up!
At the portal once more again. More than a decade has passed since I threw my leg over a machine to race the beautiful sport and I still get the same feelings. I will see old friends this weekend that I haven't seen since last January...and we will proceed to beat the living snot out of each other as soon as the official says go!
At the portal once more again. Each year is going to be the year .Less of a Quixotic challenge and more of a burning desire to see what I can do. I convinced the finish lines in front of me are not windmills. I can see the difference...or so I tell myself.
At the portal once more again. Each month of each year....no: each DAY of each month...I'm thinking about it. I catch myself stutter stepping up the stair case between floors of my building at work Mario De Clercq style. I don't just get back on my mountain bike on a casual Saturday ride, I remount.
At the portal once more again.
JOIN THE BOULDER CYCLE SPORT ‘CROSS TEAM!
It’s NEVER too late to think ‘cross and that’s the way we like it within the ranks of the Orange and Black of Boulder Cycle Sport!
On Thursday June 11th, at 7:30 PM, BCS will be hosting our yearly team kickoff and informational meeting. If you have been interested in trying ‘cross, we invite you to come and learn more! The core of this team is about teaching and evangelizing the beauty of this sport…getting YOU excited to participate while having immense amounts of fun, improve your skills and brag to your co-workers come Monday how you frolicked in the mud with your friends all weekend!
Click here to learn more about the informational meeting and we invite you to become part of the Orange-and-Black clad family this year!
Hup hup, buttercups! The leaves may be green now but they will be-a-changin’!