Entries in cyclocross (85)
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.
Should you need them, points are for sale cheap on eBay by some of these East coasters. I may need to PayPal me some given the fact that the poop stick got whipped at me this season bumping me outside the kind points leaving a dirty sanchez kind a smell in my memory.
Snowers tomorrow thus rollers as I don't need to get sick and racing at the Rez before Golden in Sunday although I could use the sand work. Plus, mi famiglia and I are grabbing the tree tomorrow for the holidays. Ho ho ho.
See you monkeys Sunday.
This video by CTodd will either help our evangelism of the sport' sgrowth when we shop it to parks and rec people and the like, or ban it due to it being a sport of a bunch of crazy people. HA!
Either way, I love you CTodd. This is gdamn hilarious.
Check out this article in today's NYT!!:
Cyclocross: Mud, Sweat and Gears
ABOVE the pool of filth, but still within the shadow of the ditch, my bike skidded sideways in muck. “Heads up!” yelled a fellow racer, elbow out, body a blur.
It was lap No. 5 at Grumpy’s CX, a cyclocross bike race in Blaine, Minn., and I was fighting for position in a deep gulch of mud.
“On your left!” a rider yelled, tires squishing through the ooze.
The race had kicked off 20 minutes before, a crush of cyclists squeezing through a start gate to the two-kilometer course beyond. What would come included a gravel track, pavement, grass, switchback climbs and multiple knee-high barriers that forced riders to dismount, shoulder their rigs and hurdle on foot before hopping back on their bikes to race away.
Cyclocross, a growing off-road discipline, appears at first to be an amalgam of BMX bike racing and road riding. The sport’s short, looped courses include obstacles, ramps, bumps, sand pits, sharp turns and lots of the aforementioned mud — all navigated on a road-bike-like cycle that has drop-bar handles, skinny tires and no suspension.
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.
November 28th, my faithful M & C readers, this blog celebrates its one year anniversary. Man, what the _ _ _ _ happened to the year!? Where has it gone?!?! I was checking in on Radio Freddy's a few days ago and noticed his beautiful site's one year anniversary which reminded me to look back in the annals for that very first post. Holy crappola! November 28th 2006!
What M & C is, is nothing more that an electronic scratchpad I wanted to start as a personal journal. That's what blogs are, right? So I made it into sort of a day to day thing documenting my experiences on quasi daily basis of what being a husband, daddy, worker and bike racer is about from the balance perspective....with the intent that come hell or high water, I would get my ass to Belgium...going to church so to speak...to experience what 'cross really is.....or maybe I know what it is and want to know from where it came. Whatever the case, more often than not, it was a place to digitally scream to something. Unfortunately you are all the victims of my rants and absolute psychoticness.
But, crazy psycho episodic rants aside, EVERY single good thing in my life from the time I was 5 years old derived from bikes, cross included and hopefully this Belgium goal a continuing extension of it. Literally, everything is linked together through bikes for the last 30+ years in this sort of beautiful unfolding tale that I am also enamored with when I reflect on it:
- Learn how to ride a bike at Ted Stoica's 4th birthday party, 1975
- Get my own bike in kindergarten that year and begin my obsession.
- Create a bike gang of 5-8 year olds. We are the Thunderbirds.
- Start dirt jumping with the T-birds Evil Kneivel style in elementary school
- Learn to race BMX (decently) and ride ramps (badly) in middle school in the early 80's and gt my first racing license (an NBL license if you remember that!). Eddie Fiola is my hero.
- Learn dad gets job transfer summer before I start high school in mid 80's. Parents bribe me with a Shogun racing 10 speed because this guy Greg Lemond is doing things over there in Europe and "10 speed bike racing" is getting cool.
- The Shogun gathers dust while I revert back to my GT Pro Performer and start riding around the streets of NJ and BMX again becomes a proxy for meeting new peeps
- Race more, jump more meet absolutely CORE people.
- Go to college in the late 80's and learn about this thing called 'mountain biking'. I learn its a big BMX bike.
- Drink incredible amounts of Piels and Gennesee Light and get fat.
- Get inspired by Chris by senior year to go and ride ride ride
- Graduate and flounder and move to Cape Cod, get my own MTB and ride every day. No shirt, no helmet, Hi-Tech hiking boots. I get tan and get back to some fitness.
- Finally get embarrassed enough that I need to get a job, move back from the Cape and find one in NYC. I slave all week and blow out the weekends up and down the East Coast racing MTB's
- Grow the obsession. Start buying magazines with pretty pictures of radsters in CA riding insane MTB's reading them cover to cover on the subway to and from work and.
- Start using this thing called the internet in the mid 90's and find this bike guy in CA called "Rock Lobster" and get info on his bikes.
- Get obsessed with Rock Lobster and Bontrager bikes and decide California is the place I ought to be so I loaded up the truck and I move to Beverly...er ah...SF
- Move to SF, buy a Rock Lobster (actually many...) and find Mecca in Marin and Santa Cruz and meet a group of people who are literally family now...with no less than THREE marriages spawned by our group meeting an connecting
- Then meet my beautiful (now) wife. We ride into the proverbial sunset....
- Race more, work more, grow more and learn of something called 'cross in 96.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they become brothers and sisters.
- Cross more. Including wearing a dress while doing so.
- Procreate and yield two little Irishmen.
- Decide that Boulder might be a better place to raise them thar kids (that being the guise for a better 'cross scene) and we made a decision in a weekend and move.
- Meet the most amazing bike freaks and they too become brothers and sisters...
So Belgium. Now do you see? It's like No. 25 on this growing list of things that have so expanded and enriched my life and those around me. It also was a goal to help me laser focus on something during this year...a year I KNEW would be turbulent and it materialized that way. Remember that scene in Star Wars (the original one....not the computer animated shit), when Luke is in the X Wing and needs to drop that bomb in that tunnel to blow up the Death Star and the commander over his head set is shouting "Stay on target...stay on target...". Well, that's what Belgium has been. Belgium (or the promise of getting my act together to go was that little control tower voice helping me to push day by day...for bad or for worse. Creating new channels in the universe and exposing me to what I hope will be the truth about our sport.
I will be sure to blog it.
Thanks for reading. Thank you my beautiful wife for this experience.
There is hope ladies and gents. A magazine with a fairly wide distribution followed through on their promise from about this time last year....and that was to give 'cross some due coverage. So I sent them an email to say KUDOS by looping back and reading good 'ol Mud and Cowbells dot com.
So here goes:
To the Procycling staff:
You did it! You embraced the tidal wave otherwise known as cyclocross and I am immensely happy. The coverage in your December 2007 issue was spectacular. The stories, photos and tech articles gave a great insight to the now full time discipline of 'cross for your readers to learn about. I've been a subscriber to Procycling for time ad infinitum and I enjoyed the fact you are one of the first long standing road cycling mags to not treat it as the 'winter training sport' pro roadies traditionally leveraged to keep the fat off after drinking too much Leffe and eating too much chevres on their winter holidays. Cross is life for so many cycling enthusiasts now. The specialization of the sport over the last decade (most intensely the last 5 years here in the States) has both racer and bike industry person enamored.
Let's look at it from the angle of the Procycling reader's typical demographic (and I'm venturing a guess here!):
Exhibit A) 25-55 males with full time jobs and likely families to boot.
Now take that info and lay that over the top of the sport of 'cross:
Exhibit B) Races that are 45 minutes to an hour of absolute fun (OK, fun is relative to how much suffering you want to take) putting riders on courses that their entire family can watch them lap after lap slog through the mud, jump over barriers and be treated to a carnival atmosphere. Pretty different to a road race where you wave goodbye to your loved one and see them in 3.5 to 5 hours.
What do you have: A perfect match when you combine the two.
The tidal wave is reaching its crest and the bike industry is waking up to it. Racer fields are growing and the availability of specific frames, tires, bits and training knowledge are creating a frenzy of information need. And you supplied some goodness. Kudos!
Nice work Procycling!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone is getting their turkey on. Mmm. Protein. We're with our best friends in a cold and very scenic Spokane. The kids are going off playing with each other and our ladies are dialing a mad feast.
Joe and I took the white bullet (Roxy the yellow lab) out for a run in this awesome trail network directly behind Joe's house. It is like the most perfect little short track course I have ever seen. I think Joe needs to run some underground races here.
We've been drinking the Belgie suds, laughing our asses off and having a great time. Joe and I of course have been glued to the hi fi watching the latest rounds of DVDs (Ruddervoorde and others) from the 07 season with Chimay's in hand. Awesome. Enjoy the feasts everyone!
Well, it had to happen some time. Paradise needed to remind itself that it does in fact situate itself in the mountains. The pow pow came down last night after a final couple of days of absolute beautiful days in the sun.
The boys and girls will likely cross today...somewhere. 29'ers replacing cross bikes through the snow. Maybe Poormans, maybe long dirt road rides in place of parks and barriers.
Mr. KP sent me the latest on Master's Worlds (yes, I am STILL going!):
U.C.I WORLD MASTERS
CYCLO-CROSS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008
SATURDAY 19th JANUARY 2008
ZILVERMEER MOL - BELGIUM
CATEGORIE DISTANCE START
Men (1943 and older) 30’ 10.03hr
Women (1958 and older) 20’ 10.02hr
Women (1959-1968) 25’ 10.01hr
Women (1969-1978) 30’ 10.00hr
Men (1944-1948) 30’ 11.02hr
Men (1949-1953) 30’ 11.01hr
Men (1954-1958) 30’ 11.00hr
Men (1959-1963) 40’ 12.00hr
Men (1964-1968) 40’ 13.00hr
Men (1969-1973) 40’ 14.00hr
Men (1974-1978) 40’ 15.00hr
Have an enjoyable T-giving everyone! We'll be with some of the best friends we know on this earth, as they begin their journey to move back to the Bay Area. Turkey and Beer. Lots of 'cross talk. No riding but running.
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.