Entries in Photos (134)
God we are 35 A's. This sequence is hilarious. It is the most polite start to a race, ever. I don't think I've ever remained seated for the start of a race....thus the determination to not win the hole shot Saturday. Ha! J-Rad's wife (I think) shot this sequence. Hilarious....
See Jared's photostream HERE....
Yesterday saw me finish up some unfinished business before the deep sleeps and rest begins this week. The bones ached from Saaturday's debacle part deux. Incalculable suffering but I had to finish. The work is definitely in. Now, I just need to let it bake.
Today's rain had me visit an old friend: The Rollers. I need to revisit those things every now and again. Peaceful and super controlled. Never burns too many matches if you don't want it to. I recommend not taking pictures while rolling though. As you can see, my shit is about to roll off! Ha!
I am such a galactic wuss when I hear stories like this. I am in disbelief that a man can go from this:
To 4th place behind Swiss national champ Christian Huele, US national champ Ryan Trebon and genetic freak Barry Wicks on his first race back sine mangling his body earlier this year.
That man is Andy Jacques-Maynes and he did this at the UCI Star Crossed event last night in Seattle. An absolutely sick accomplishment and I will never scribe dribble again (OK maybe a little) after hearing stories like this.
I NEED to get video of this race.
The weather is high-desert fall epic-ness. Gorgeous. Today's race was in Colorado Springs. Home of the OTC, huge SUV's and lots of God and gun stuff going on. Driving 220 miles round trip will have to be re-considered for racing for 45 minutes.
Let's talk about the race shall we? First, my approach this year at large is totally different than year's past. It's all about this steady progression. A song that crescendos rather than fizzles. Imagine that, when my Type A personality says that I need to be go-go-going all the time, biking, work....whatever. Today my plan was to be tranquil (isn't that a term over used these days by dopers? "I'm tranquil about the fact that my A sample was non-negative..." Sorry, but that was the only word I could think of. ) So the whole line of thinking is of a ramp-up through January instead of blowing shit up early...and then have a lovely and fairly quick ramp down come December.
So, at the core of it all today was supposed to be 'cleanliness'. In other words trying to have a technically perfect race and regardless of placing, get that under my belt. Be smooth. Flow. Last week sucked so I just wanted to ease into things and really focus on form.
Oh, the race. Sorry.
5,4,3,2,1 Go! We're off and literally I sit up after the first 50 feet and wave my boy J-rad through. I do NOT want the hole shot today. F'd up, huh? I just want to race and place and be clean. No desire to try and rule the roost. Steady burn, nothing crazy. That is how convinced I am of the need to just roll clean and feeling complete.
I settle into the first 3 in lap 1....in fact rolling slow intentionally. Save it. I'm not feeling punchy today at all but continue to try and settle in. Lap 3 or 4 of like 7 and...wham! Hit the deck running down this dodgy run 'down' which does a 180 then back up and over a barrier over fairly well pot holed ground. Hidden boulder underneath grass. Roll the ankle and all. Awesome! Totally F up my leg (again....over the same week old cuts) and bend a lever. Swish...swish...swish. 3 maybe 4 guys over take me. OK, sort out the lever, get rolling. I'm ready to punch it and bridge back...
Nothing. No go. Nada.
You know what it feels like when there is a hollowness? When spinning is about all that can be done but the circles you're spinning are not pulling on pedals and creating power? That was about it. Nothingness.
Another guy passes. Then another...and another. D'oh! Again, nothingness. Bloody, again, I put the tail between the legs, roll in and finish 12th.
Complete? Yes? Clean? F_ _ _ no.
OK, switch subjects to a more abstract level. Why do I write this? Frankly why do I write any of this dribble. It ain't ego as I try to live life like the proverbial chocolate brown lab with his tail wagging constantly. I've won races before so I 'get' that and my intent here is not a boo f-ing hoo, woe is me thing. F_ _ _ it, it's bike racing and I love it. It's more like a textual shout into a digital abyss. I am compelled to tell it like it is at this period in my life and I am equally compelled to put my leg back over my bike...every ride...every race...until I line up in Mol in January and look up and say "I f-ing did this, man." It's crazy focus like I've never had before and my wife can see this....and it is intense....and weird...and present in our lives....and will not come back again as sand is pouring through that hourglass.
So I've got to grab it. Talk about it. Live it. Suffer immensely for it.
The counter balance of my mind is firing synapses at a zillion times a second these days. Those synapses are of guilt and odd feelings of remorse. It's weird. I can't explain it. I'm so lucky. I could spit...or cry...or whatever. But I see the scarifies my wife and children make (without the latter even knowing how they sacrifice for me).
Power taps. Weight loss. Think at really intense speeds. Dream about it.
Ha! Week two! You morter forkers will unsubscribe your RSS feeds by November listening to this! Sorry for the temporary mind loss. It's clearly the Chimay I just downed thinking about today. It has an effect on my fingers when near a key board.
OK, the digital scream is capital D done.
Thank you. I hope you come back!
On to RAD stuff.
STEVE! You did it man!!! Great work and I am immensely proud of you. Great effort out there today, homie. I got no pics of you! Sorry! I chalk it all up to my clinics. HA! I should have used some of those lessons today.
BOUPS!! You ALSO did it man! Here comes your ACA Pro 1-2 upgrade beeatch! You would have won on your old Yeti. You would have won on your New Belgium Klunker.
SQUIRES BROS! Huge. Thanks so much for the feeds today and laughs when I was suffering. You're helping me keep it real.
Some pics from today.
Cat 3 stuff before I had to jet back to Boulder:
This has been the view I see most training days. My shadow and I are intimate with the climbs and suffering. So much of my training has been solo this year. Part good part bad. I love mixing it up with my team mates but I have this tendency to want to throw down. Often. Ha! So learning how to ramp up, achieve goals and taper (e.g. REAL recovery) has been my take-away for 07. Logical to most of you but I have been for time ad infinitum all about the go-go-go and my heart speaks to my head more often than my body can get a chance to.
The spins around Boulder in early mornings are epic. Right now things are changing. You can see the Aspens just starting to get golden. Little cold pockets of air that sit there in ambush as you come into a corner and go from warm to cold. All signals of cross season. Yum.
The contusions are healing up famously, but the ribs are still reminding me. Sleep on the back or left side is about it....but the sleep comes heavy and deep. Really looking forward to Saturday and mixing it up with the boys. The goals are yet to come but cleanliness is what I am striving for. Too many rookie moves last weekend that is all about the discipline I need to re-enforce with myself. Each one is a subtraction, not an addition to the goals being built.
Life is good. Cross on.
One word: HUGE. I had no backpack today....so no camera to take pictures of what was the largest group yet. In all sincerity, 50 people....maybe more. Immense. The GOOD news is the Wed AM World Cup ride is more or less legitimized. Hard work by people like Kat with the Parks and Rec crew have enabled us to use some land such as the beautiful North Boulder Park. That is SOLID. It helps to legitimize the plight of the 'crosser here in town. A species certainly not in danger but growing rapidly.
So today, broken shoe. No biggee as it's an old Dragon, but made it a wee bit dodgy on the dismounts. The ironic part is it FORCED me to stick to my plan of ramping up into the 20 minute training race in a way that allows me to work on some strategies of using my power more wisely. It worked well. I decided to take a back seat today and not win the hole shot (easy to do and super fun actually, but hard to maintain) and settle in and tun up the power gracefully. I liked how my ride went and I grooved well with the plan. Again, smiles, even with all my aches and pains present. They seemed to fade away a which was good. I only did one session of the workout and went to focus on some other things with T which was so well needed. The numbers are still there but unlocking them will be my challenge.
Last night was Boulder Cycle Sport's closed door Team Night. HUGE thanks to the BCS crew for their support of the teams they sponsor. The closed door affair gave us s-i-c-k deal son all the equipment and supplies which keep us going fast. I'm going to be rocking some Ksyrium SL and ES's for a while with Challenge Griffo's and reserve the Dugasts for the right courses. I ran them last year and was mostly satisfied but had some issues with the tread pattern on wet grass (e.g. Interlocken). I'll roll these on the mostly shit dirt crit courses we have around here and reserve the Dugasts for the right time. I still have to re-glue the rolled tubular. I've got time...
Also, pics here at Mark Wolcott Photography.
Week 1, under the belt. Sort of. I figured I'd wait to post until today as I was a wreck yesterday evening. Week 1 went, well, not so good. That said, it's aaaall good. 'Tis bike racing. Lemme sum up the day...
Drive up from Boulder's 6K to Breckenridge's 10,000 feet elevation was nice and serene. Listening to Built to Spill gave me goose bumps (and would be a prophetic group to listen to vis-a-vis their title! Ha!). It set the tone of ominous clouds and rain squalls that came in and out during the drive up. It was fantastic seeing all the old friends again when I got to Breck. The scene at the Nordic Center in Breck is always alive. The junior races were going off when I got there and I saw team mates like Thomas Prehn and Doug Squires getting their game faces on for their Master's events. Hup hup you guys!
The course was a pretty good one, and very short. Swoopy through the trees with probably 100 feet or so of pavement. Lots of barriers in the right places. My warm up was great and the body felt fine. A little taxed at altitude as I expected but pretty good nonetheless. The equipment felt great and I decided to go go with the Dugast set up on both bikes. I pre-road them both and both felt spot on. The tires absolutely railed the tacky dirt so the thumbs up was given. I had seriously like 3 other sets of wheels prepared to switch out but the tread and the 32 size felt sweet.
The line up was great. Not a huge field of 35 Open guys but all the old friends were there....except Karl Kiester. He rocked one of the other Masters events. Me, Timmy, Jared and some others composed the front row. Ready set go and we're off. I took the whole shot and led the first lap. I was turning around to see what was up and there was a string out and I REALLY wanted to get a group together to start working. You can't win from teh front in a 35 plus race. Jared came through to work and life is good. I think it was Jared, me, Timmy and maybe another guy flowing for a bit, Timmy put in an attack on the 2nd lap on the double barrier run up to see who was there to play for the day. I felt the altitude there a bit but it re grouped and life is good again. The group of about 6 is formed and we're off for the race. The separation was there by lap 2.5. By this time there is already 30 seconds plus on the rest of the field so this was the split in a 45 minute race. Lap 3 or 4 (about 20 to 22 minutes into the race) Chris Phenecie and Jeff Wardell we're in front of me and we're flowing through the woods. As we come railing into this particular section, it happened: Rolled the tubular.
Und das war alles.
Honestly, I hit so hard (no embellishment) both my contacts popped out of my eyes. Ha! I rolled the front tubular at speed coming around this dirt apex at speed and the lights went out. The body is beat up but the ego worse off. Sort of like:
Apparently the last laps saw Timmy, Jared and others crash as well as Phenecie roll his tubular in similar fashion although without the major crash drama. D'oh! All good in the hood though and I'll be back for more punishment next week.
Life is good. Bike racing is awesome, if not unforgiving.
Another beautiful sunny morning in Boulder....and 40+ hungry 'crossers out before their work days begin to get their 'cross on in the weekly throw down. We had a stellar turn out and the Front Range folks are amped to get the season underway.
After going to South Boulder and deciding the grass was too wet (we're trying to keep our good rep you know and preserve the land!), we headed down to Boulder Research for a throw down and then on to Elks for more fun. Za Plan prescribed only one session pour moi this week so I was able to take some pics and a quick vid (below) of the group at Elks.
Boulder Research went well. Given the heavy hitters, I was immensely satisfied with how I felt and had T in my brain on trying things we've discussed. It's good to try 'em now with all this depth of talent I get to train with and see how the body responds which made me smile. More work still but I'm so happy. We had the whipper snapper Danny Summerhill out today so he and I traded some paint which was fun. Like old times in the 3's a few years ago when he was like 10 year sold and making me suffer for my placings back then.