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Entries in cyclocross training (100)

From the lens of Matty Opp

Some of the images Matty Opp snapped from Wednesdays World Championships...

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Eees coas versus Wes coas....

I hope no one shows up with their Glocks this weekend as the West Belgians are trading shots with the New Belgians. Classic old school gansta' style rivalries being built on the Cross Crusade forum right before the USGP's make their way to Portland this coming weekend.

More training today with za PowerSnap to see where the flock I am. Felt unbelievable yesterday like I am building which is great. Vee shall see what comes of it this weekend and next but ultimately I just want to be respectable in January. I've modified my goals for this season so the head is on right these days. Racing between CO States and Belgium in January will be non existent unless I make my way to CA for some Peak Season stuff. I have to be in SF late December so this may work out.

'Cross on.

The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...No 11

Ah, so good to be back home again and participate in the Wednesday Worlds throw-down. 32 degrees this AM and we had a monster crew. While waiting at Amante, the clock was ticking towards 8AM and there were a handful of folks then nearly at the stroke of 8, it's like all these 'crossers just materialized out of the thin, cold air.

Elks was the first stop and teh conditions were cherry. Tacky, no slop and fast. The 45 or so of us lined up and I started the count down when Matty-O yells GO! and caught us all with our pants down. I was in like 10th place and and still trying to clip in when I finally caught my stride and passed a bunch of dudes and waited until we ggot to the barriers to do more damage.

Two weeks of rest. No races, limited work outs and indeed, I felt fast. I could feel a certain depth that hasn't been there in a long time. All corners were sprung out of and all flat sections out of the saddle sprints to raise the tempo. Lately, I'd have been sitting and trying to recover! Now, I just need to sit on this, tune what's in me and try to uncork a bit during these last few CO races before some training then rest before Belgium.

Oh, silly me. I've been boring you! You're here for the pics! The standard digital celluloid:

The Mullet of the WB. Extremely impressive. Probably too much wind resistance though.

Hup hup, Danny. Good luck at Nats!!

Danny again....

Teton: Man, myth, legend. You were going well today man!

Dan and Bill. Dan, start going slower so they don't upgrade you. Ha!


The legend Charlie Hayes running a 42 x 16 SS!!

JHK's new toy. Mmm, Dugast Rhino 45's. Mmmm.

Matty Opp, JHK and Heather

Matt P and his 39 x 18 Primus Mootry he's been making people suffer behind

Turning the engine over

Got out with the Boups-man early this AM before work to get the engine fired back up. For me, it's exactly like getting your '84 VW diesel warmed up and moving. Once that fuel's been un-gelled, I'm OK.

Today was beautiful and cold. Frost on the ground here and Boups and I did some nice flowy tempo stuff on our trail network. We caught up which was good and talked cross like school boys.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit tired but the rest has helped. The legs still feel heavy but not in the way just after lots of work, more in the way that the work is all in there but you need to crack the muscles open and get 'em going again. More openers again this week and then on to finish up the season over the next two weekends.

I need to get to the bank for a little wire transfer action to pay the place we're staying at in Belgium. The crew is set and we are stoked. I really can not wait! I just need to stay healthy and get some good training and rest in December and early Jan before I get on the big plane over there. The ultimate vacation...


Ah, back in the Republic. 4 AM wakeup this AM for a 5 AM flight from Spokane back to DIA. We nailed it and the kids were total champs. A few small Ben 10 toys helped to enure the correct amount of 5 and 3 year old cooperation. All spoiling rules go out the window at 5AM ....and when you are traveling with kids.

The vacation was spectacular. Ball family: We love and miss you. It was so unbelievable fun to hang and share this vacation with you. Best of luck on your journey back to the old home!

So, we got home pretty early, unpacked and I basically immediately got on the bike. I couldn't wait! I have found that I truly missed riding while taking this last week or so off. I guess that is the intent! That and watching Ruddervoorde 07 with Joe got the juices flowing for sure. I rolled with Taro on the cross bikes and we spun out the legs on all of the cherry dirt paths that spider thier way across the Republic. Frankly, it was good to get some mud on the bikes! It's all been so dry and fast this season!
Taro's still recovering from La Ruta. The stories he talked me through sounded epic. Like a total recall of what the Tour must have been like in the early days where epic conditions and local knowledge and "support" made the race truly epic.

More races out here in a FINALLY crossy Colorado today, but obviously I could not make it given the travel. The race reports I am sure will be coming in today and I'm looking forward to hearing what went down. For me, I've got some catch up to do but the rest was so welcome.

See you chumps at the Wednesday Worlds.

I'm ready to get back on the bike now

I think it is time. Time for me to act like a cyclist again and crank up the monastic life I was leading up to approximately 11:56PM last night.

The evening began with a lovely dinner with best friends. The cocktails were flowing as were the conversations and laughter.
After the food epic and with a few liquid golds put back, someone said the word:


Oh, God, the ugliness factor was high. We made our way over to the only gig in town and walked in amongst the true people of Spokane. The proverbial record basically scratched when we walked in the door. But after a few more liquid golds and whipping out my best Space Oddity, the crowd was mine.
The requests for encores came flooding in and of course I had to respond. It was essentially the American Idol for Idiots with me as the star pitted against Cristina The Lesbian and Chester the Vietnam Vet. A veritable battle of the stars. We rocked into the wee hours trading songs like bullets. Cristine throwing out some Indigo Girls, Chester with some Brick House and me with some classic faves. In the end, my wife witnessed me get picked up by the local Harper Valley PTA lady and I was the clear favorite for the lesbian contingent, out muscling their patron Cristina.

To the winner goes the spoils...

I am now ready folks. Stress relief in a bottle and a microphone. Exactly what was needed in my 'training'.

The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...2007 No. 10

West and weewaxashun today! I spun down on my single speed to hang with friends and just shoot photos of the Wednesday Cross Crew at the 'world championships'. I am still hurting and just taking care of myself these days so I did not participate and just shot pics and had fun. Clearly there were lots of people resting this week so while a big crowd, many of the antagonists were AWOL. Paco and JHK threw down and I was able to film a bit which was fun. Paco inexplicably scorched on a 39 x 16 single speed Primus Mootry cross bike this past weekend at the UCI races and did so again today! I watched carefully and it is amazing how he can use that gear (arguably a small one) so effectively against folks who have 2 x 10 speeds! Amazing.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

It's a tap.....just a little tap.

Ken posted these pics, and I am not sure where he got 'em but it's a perfect demonstration of how "nijsly" Sven can rip it through the barriers without ever getting his Shimano-laden feet out of those pedals. Note Sven's Dugasts just kissing that lip of the barrier. That's the secret. I watch some dudes try and do the full on MTB style haul-the-whole-bike-up-to-altitude to clear front and rear wheels at the same time but that ain't it sports fans. That's not the 'style' as J-Pow professes in his now well known YouTube description of his bunny hopping prowess. You want to take the bunny hop in 'cross in stages:

front lift...front kiss...rear lift...sometimes rear kiss...then pedal out bmx style to ensure the foolios fumbling through behind you burn more watts than you trying to bridge back. That's why you should be in the f-ing hoods and not on the tops when you get to the other side of the barriers either after a bunny hop or a full on dismount. You need to be thinking braaaaaaaaaaap! as soon as you get in those pedals again and your hands need to be on them thar hoods.

The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...2007 No. 9

'Crossy weather this AM! Driving in from DIA last night, I could see all the stars in the sky. Getting home and finally falling to sleep, I awoke for like my 6th pee somewhere at like 4 AM (whenever I come back to altitude I start to pee like a mad man) and I could hear the distinctive sound of water running down the gutters. When there was enough light out to see this AM, I could see snow and rain and 35 degree temps.

Yum. Cross. Belgie style.

This AM was a cluster trying to wake up from my trip, get some coffee in my gullet, see my wife and kids out the door for school then finally suit up and giddy up on down to Amante. I was late jammed down expecting to see like maybe 5 people given the less than ideal weather (for non crossers) but low and behold, the whole friggin 'peleton' was in effect. My God we are a bunch of sick monkeys.

We got a surprise visitor today! Jon C (pictured winning the CO states last year) from Moots was in town on biz from Mootsland, CO. GREAT TO SEE YOU MAN! Thanks for the 411 on Mol. The call to order came, people finished up their coffees and we all trained on up to Elks. The usual place.

We dialed in a course basically the same as we normally run with the exception of adding some sections to get people to train for the sand conditions this weekend. So we sent people up through this section of stone driveway for like 25 feet which totally simulates the power needed for sand.

We lined up and Paco called out GO! and we were off. Tyler, Colby, Paco (on his Primus Mootry 1 x 1! You are ridiculously fast on that that one gear) Troy and I got a selection right away and rolled nice for like 2 or 3 of the 5 laps. Even after my stress ball trip to NYC, the break from the bike certainly paid dividends. I rolled better than I anticipated today so the engine must be up to something good (I hope). T had me under strict orders not to go to deep and I never did, yet was there the whole time. I guess that's the point, right?

Even after telling EVERYONE to watch the cement corner, yours truly went down on lap 4. Totally harmless crash and funny actually. Back up in a flash and finished up after 5 laps nicely with Steve, Jon C and a Red Rocks Velo fellow (Clay's team mate) somewhere in the top 6 to 8 or so on our training race.

A group of us then went on a mellow dirt road spin down for an hour or so around the Boulder Rez. Lots of fun! Great to see you out there this AM Clay H! Sorry about your flat!

So big races this weekend! Nice! Looking forward to it. Chris G has something special lined up me thinks.

'Cross on my peeps. Thanks for reading.


Enter sand man

So the Coloradans will have their fill of sand this weekend given the races locale: The Boulder Reservoir. Brian H and the crew will be out there in force to get course dialed. Bring your Stans however given the unbelievable amount of goat heads on the course. Last year, Chris G literally swept and raked every square inch of the course by hand to free it if the spiky race ruiners.

Life is good at the '06 Rez race pre-goat heads...

...then forced to play catch up after changing bikes

My run today was unbelievable. One of those absolutely picture perfect fall mornings. I couldn't believe how well I responded back to the running after doing so much of it to prep for 'cross (~ 3 x per week). I felt light and the legs turned over good. I will be missing this weekends beach frolics as I'm heading east for the family fun. Then back to help Chris G set up for the UCI races coming next weekend. This race and a re-emphasis on running will help as training for my Mol trip.....which will have monster sections of sand and require power and running savvy. John Suzuki, a CA based 'crosser captured some great pics you can see here:

Needless to say, I will be found at the Rez days in December getting the whole sand thing dialed for January 19th 2008.

'Cross on, peeps.