Entries in cyclocross training (100)
So Joe sent me another huge batch of DVDs today. Puts the total of my collection at 100 and something 'cross specific DVDs. My porn collection.
Hidden on the 2002 Worlds DVD was a little gem. The 2002 GP Holland. Possibly the finest race I have ever seen (maybe with the exception of the Zolder World's when Super Mario and Wellens photo finished). The race is s a study in course design, equipment/tire selection, shitty conditions and technique. The Dutch know how to throw on a race.
Richard put on a capital 'C' clinic in this race proving at the time he was and probably is the all time greatest mudder. He pulled out the 2000 World's in similar fashion. His technique in this race was flawless in how he utilized his energy alternating between riding and running. The course was b-r-u-t-a-l. Almost 90% mud with the exception of the paved start/finish section and included mad 45degree mud run ups and descents and a 75 foot wooden staircase thrown in for good measure.
The things to observe in this race were the porting and running techniques that varied so differently between the Dutch and the Belgians (who were the only people factoring in, in this race. Gerben De Knegt and Richard classically wrapping under the down tube and all the Belgians wrapped around the head tube. The shouldering was all very interesting to study as well given the extreme conditions and how they use modified styles to.
Super Mario and Wellens put in an impressive chase but could never catch Richard who wins by :20. He dangled from the first lap or two at :12 to :15 so it was so impressive to watch how his technique enabled him to stay out front the whole time.
Indeed 'cross porn and should be used a study aid.
The weather has dipped into the 50's and 60's and its blustery. It's welcoming us to the season. I am so amped I can't sleep well any more. The work has been put in and my family has supported me so much. I haven't smiled this much in a year. I'm ready to have fun and see what this aging body can do. I've listened.
Dillon an the DFL crew launched their 13th annual cross training series. Man oh man oh man do I miss these. Wear a dress (see Brian in post below) and you race free. It's unsanctioned and fast and beautiful and core.
Evan sent me the link to photos of the first race. Looks like all the usual suspects were there again. I miss these folks. This scene. Here in Boulder, things are pretty frickin serious. I mean, go to a Cat 4 race and 3 rows deep you have guys who can win a Cat 3 race with little problem. Crazy. DFL keeps this whole community absolutely core. The racing is super fast but hilarious. I had a my first breakthrough moment at one of these DFL's years ago when I knew I could hang. If you are in SF on random Wednesdays or a Saturdays in the early season, and if you can find the race as it's underground, you should get your dress on and get involved. These are beautiful souls. It's here that 'cross is kept alive as it should be.
DC is an interesting place. The politics/politicking...even in the software industry....is unbearable. Everything is some huge posturing event. Go to New York and people give you the straight dope. Go to SF and you get 'niced' to death (unless you're driving of course). Here, you have to lobby and perform 'services' to get your needs met.
The run this AM was sea-level and pleasant. No need for depth today, merely to turn over some coals and keep the embers orange. More work this weekend then rest before we kick things off in Breck next weekend.
Bush apres MTB faceplant.
We had an awesome throw down at Elks and Research this AM. HUGE turn out. I have pics but my camera's USB crapped out so I have to load the SD card in someone else's and load the pics that way.
OK, I'm back. Got the camera problem solved. I love standards like the SD card. Just threw it in our other camera and voila!
OK, to the update. So, Elk's was fast. I tried to set a hard first couple of laps for the group and they turned out to be the fastest. We had a split fairly quickly. The Boulder Cycle Sport ~slash~ FIDEA squad was in force. I pulled in in 5th with Dubba, Tuba and Colby taking on everyone. Bastages. Everyone is going well it seems and the mood was full up geeky cross. This sport is for real and people wait ALL year for it....so these mornings are that much more fun with a set of attitudes.
Boulder Research was much slower for everyone. The course was uber rocky and I just personally rolled a bit. I gots me my efforts in for the day.
The engine felt capital G great this AM. More rest and small tuning and then here we go season!
The secret society of 'cross freaks got out early yesterday AM to flog each other silly. The moment I opened my eyes, still lying in bed, I said: "I think I need rest." Going out and flogging sort of made that premonition come true in that I mostly played the role of floggee versus flogger. Can't be out front every day I'm learning.
Today was more of the same flogging...although this time self inflicted up Flag for a couple-a tests up, up and up to see where I'm at (and where I've been). A FRESHLY paved Flagstaff as well. So niiiiiiiii. When I woke up today and opened my eyes, the first thoughts were: "I'm going to rail it." After that extreme effort yesterday, I nailed a personal best and a 2nd not-so-bad ascent up that beeatch. The recovery was decent I guess last night. There's nothing that some organic food made by my lady and a 1554 can't solve to aid the sore legs.
So, I'm here. 100's of early AM hours logged, 11 pounds lost since last year, weaknesses worked on. I've learned lots. Lots of balancing. Who knows what the season will bring but I put the work in. The smiles are abound.
You've got to check out Mike Day's insane BMX trial at the course being proto'd for the 08 Olympics in Beijing. Study this guy's rhythm through 32' gaps. Genius. Now while it may be impractical to go and source a BMX bike and try to get to your local huckin' course, you can gain SO MUCH for your cross game by getting in some BMX like practicing.
When you watch Sven, in the UCI leader kit in this video...
....you get a sense of why he won 8 Belgium BMX national titles back in the day. Frankly there's more impressive videos and photos of his bunny hopping and ditch hucking exploits, but this vid is nice to see some of the smoothness he has. Niels Albert ain't bad either. And while most of our courses here state-side do not have these meticulously inserted whoops (Faia, hook up those camel whoops at Breck this year!), you can be doing things rooted in BMX to practice and improve your cross game.
Some of the stuff I practice for goes back to my NBL days. When you set up your training barriers, consider doing this: Come at speed to the right (or left) of the barrier, do a HARD 180 back at the barrier, dismount/port/remount and once back on apply the sprint. I'll leave it up to you to figure out how many to do. Let's just say that I've got hours not minutes of this specific skill logged in already. It shoudl be in your stable.
It is on. The group was extensive today. It will only get bigger as the weeks roll on and Mountain States Cup and other racing series finish up and those people start transitioning into their 'cross mode. I'll ask them where they've been...
Inexplicably fun this AM. People are giddy about the season upcoming. We railed it at Elks and then a park on Folsom this AM. The port-o's were in good use and everyone got their share of technique under stress this AM. I made the course a bit long-ish today and tried to get as many off the bike sections as I could find. I think it worked. People *were* worked it seemed.
The body responded well and I listened to myself and T and stayed within it the whole time. Holding back a bit to truly see where things are at. Even power output, no wad-shooting. Only flow while mixing it up with my
Some pics below. Brandon's got a new bike sponsor this year so people's jaws as you would expect were on the floor. It was pure show and tell time for that boy. Like a kindergartener with a new Transformer.
Memories. This is some GOOD sheeit! I posted on this guy at Cyclocross Videos before on his amazing collection of super hi-res 'cross video last year, but Gewilli's recent post on the guy's unbelievable collection reminded me to revisit the site and further how i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e these videos are!
If you watch carefully, the details of 'cross technique come alive in this video. Watching Frank and Mark McCormack get their 'cross on and a young Tim Johnson battling it out against a (possibly high) Pontoni, is great, but you have to step into and observe the details of the race vis-a-vis all the technique going on. Delicious. Watch the transition of the racers through the barriers and run up. For all those dudes at my clinics, this is like a video overture of the remount nuances we drilled over and over...all captured in hi-res. Frank McCormack in particular (my hero if you all want to know) is perfect. Even with old school bar end shifters, he's flawless on his porting. I have followed his style since I watched and raced in the '99 Super Cup in the Presidio ages ago as a B. It was that race and these guys in '99 that made the whole thing click for me by watching that finesse in the midst of all that power.
One particular sequence is maddening. Watch and study this particular part of the course where the riders come down and immediately up into a set of run up barriers. Note Pontoni (and note his white sex...'rockin 'em in '99!) coming in HOT to the planks. Amazing sequence of how NOT to lose ANY momentum. He is grabbing a handful of top tube while still swinging his leg over at a full gallop. I guess that's why he has the stripes on his sleeve. A few seconds later, watch Frank McCormack again. He's slower, but again flawless on the technique. Watch the interesting flick he does with his hand to adjust the cranks to ensure that right crank is in position for his remount. Like I said. Details.
Click HERE to watch the 99 Men's Pro Boston SuperCup and prepare to hold on to your jocky shorts.
So I recall when Brandon pumped these out for VeloNews last year.They are a good 4 part series on some raw technique basics you can leverage if new to the sport. I live directly next to this park and get my game on quite often here early in the AM's. If you notice, check out the para-gliding hippies landing in the background. I got into one AM with one of these freaks for 'using the grass'. Awesome. Love Boulder.
Click HERE for the Vids as VeloNews' embeddable video control is a p.o.s...thus the screen shot.