Entries in videos (85)
Somewhere back in Frisco, I left my form...and my fun unfortunately. There it was at that Nordic Center: a peak and a signal that I needed to rest and build on it. What did I do? I built a house of cards and kept going. Hard. This weekend symbolized how the human body can decompose into a shallow carcass with absolutely nothing inside. Spectacular implosion. It was awesome to witness I'd guess! Ha!
Race 1: Redline Cup at the Boulder Reservoir.
Saturday's race was held at the 'Rez' in windy conditions. Tents were blowing everywhere as was the steel orange fencing which apparently took some racer out! So, rest assured it was going to be a suffer fest. I make my way to the registration center, see some familiar faces, get signed up and then they hand me the number.
Queue in the horror music. I'd bet that the Swobo guys would have loved it. I rolled my eyes, pinned it up and just got on with it.
I got the call up once more as I still miraculously had some ACA clout. Today I opted for my white Rock Lobster with Challenge Griffo clinchers given the goat heads that were bound to get someone today. I got one within 15 feet of the first dirt section Friday after helping set up the course so I was preparing for the worst. In fact, I even went to Boulder Cycle Sport and Dwayne hooked me up with some of those slime rim strips that sit in between the tube and the tire casing. Paranoia...
ACA Al counted down "15 seconds gentlemen....GO!" and we were off. I settled in with the WB per plan in 8 to 10th. No hole shots today but would have been easy to do. I wanted to ramp into my race. After the gun, the WB said 'nice work' to me when we merged into our places in the top 10 or so on the 1st lap and was pumped as we'd let folks work and we'd sit in and protected from the West to East blowing wind. Jeff Wardell won the hole shot. Lap 2-3 and things are still OK. I am floating in about 11th to 13th and feeling OK. I do not feel a punch so to speak in the body but absolutely enough to finish within a top 10 to 15 in our huge field (I believe 55 or 60 starters).
The race continues on and the suffering begins. I get caught out after a bobble while grooving with Ward and like 'that' I was trapped in no mans land....out in the wind. I dropped my head and just got on with it. I come through mid race towards the wooded section by the beach and Rod Y and Jeff W are off their bikes, on the course, both unraveling course tape from their wheels and sprockets. The wind is blowing so hard it is throwing the course tape into the racers....reaching out and grabbing unsuspecting handlebars or wheels at will. Meanwhile, Dave Towle lap after lap is ROARING out names including mine and it is motivating. Thanks Dave!
By the 2nd to last lap, I am making up ground. I am in 17th or possibly 18th spot. No brainer finish in top 20. Not great but I'll take it. Then...."what the?". Soft rear tire. Yup. Goat head. I am on the back side of the course probably as far away from the pits as you can be. I ride ever so gingerly and like that: "whoosh....whoosh...whoosh...whoosh...whoosh...whoosh..." Jeff Wardell's group of 5 or 6 bridge to me and just roll on past me at their full gallop while I am rolling along like a snail.
I slip and slide on over to towards the pits and raise my hand. As always, the unbelievable Squires Brothers....Rick and Doug...see me. I raise my hand and they're ready. I come in to the pits and Rick grabs my white bike while Doug hands me my freshie. Total pro bike change and I thank those great team mates immensely.
I finish out the bell lap and roll in a fairly pedestrian 24th place. The placing belies the effort and threw me outside the points. It was what it was.
Thank you EVERYONE for cheering. Again, it was so intense to hear "Go Greg!" or Rock it Mud and Cowbells!" from complete strangers. So unbelievably rad. I failed you guys!
Race 2: Boulder Cup - Harlow Platts Park .
I woke up at what I thought was like 7 AM. A miracle if there was one but little did I know it was 6 AM....Daylight Savings time. Yes, I am one of those people I guess who forgets the DST thing. I pack up and roll the grocery getter over to Harlow Platts and register. Thankfully today, no 666 but I think that the bad mojo was settled in my muscle tissue already.
Warming up was another case of "Uh oh. You've got nothing Greg." In fact, I woke up in the AM and already knew (seeing a pattern in me faithful M & C readers???). The wind is howling yet again today albeit not as bad today. Tim and I talk pre-race and I tell him that it ain't in there today. He looks at me and says he hears me.
Some how, I get the call up again! Ha! No, I am not paying anyone off. We line up and I have a prime 2nd row position. I am stoked on it as it means I can 'settle in'. and just race the race. My head is just settling the need to finish in the top 20. Just grab me some points and then rest.
"15 seconds gentlemen (deja vous)....TWEEEET!!! (whistle today). We're off. MASSIVE crowds. Cheering and noise and Dave Towle is again blaring out the goodness. It is truly exciting. I'm in the top 15 on lap one. So all is good.
And then....it begins. That it being my demise. My decomposition. My spectacular implosion.
The house of cards starts to decompose. One card at a time, lap after lap.
I can not describe for you the suffering. I have been racing bikes a long time and you need only believe me when I say that I should have just crawled off my bike....but I will never do that. I paid my money, I'm just going for it be damned of placing.
There is nothing to say. The race was inexplicably hard for me and I had a body that had absolutely nothing. In fact, when I came through the finish....in my abysmal 34th place....I can not tell you how badly my jaw hurt. Apparently I had been grinding my teeth and clinching them the whole time and as I type, my jaw is STILL sore.
Here is all I am going to say....and this is more for me when I go back and read this diary and less for you who by now are sick of me crying like a beeatch:
Greg: You can't keep this pace up of family, training, racing and work while traveling all over this planet. You can not do it all. Listen to the signs. Take a break. Relax.
10-4 Greg. Will comply.
So after my race, I take off my skin suit, throw on my civies and go to say some quick hellos to some friends, take some quick photos of the pro men lining up and then I am going to head out. I grab a Boulder Cyclocross Ale in the beer garden and as I am doing that the pro mens field is in like lap two.
I keep hearing Dave Towle: "And there's Brandon Dwight!"
Up oh. I am hooked now. Dubba is on fire and I am NOT leaving until I see this out. Lap after lap, Brandon is hanging. Taking back places and settling in to what (at least I feel) is his breakthrough race. This was SPECTACULAR to watch. A great friend and true worker-racer in the absolute and utter mix with the best in our country.
Dubba: Kudos, brother.
So, all in all folks, it was a spectacular weekend. I am SUCH a cyclocross fan that my shitty placings and the depth of suffering I went through just faded away. I am 36 and stoked I can be doing this. I realize who I am. More importantly I am enamored with this sport of ours. In fact, I spent most of the Pro race yesterday standing next to this older woman who came to spectate and I walked her through what was going on. She had SO many questions and was like a girl in a toy store. She was hooked!
My digital celluloid of Boulder Cup yesterday. I noticed after positing that they are really big and Here is the direct link to in my PhotoBucket album.
Katie giving the VN interview after her shellacking.
Johannes and Stu Thorne from Cyclocrossworld.com.
Dubba called up.
Tyler and Tonkin.
Tyler and Tonkin 2.
Freakish Scotland Braveheart dudes 2
Freakish Scotland Braveheart dudes 2
Pro men front row.
Parbo and Trebon.
Pro mens start.
The beer garden.
Lane and his lady.
Vermark clothings US guy. Funny mo fo!
Jared and bud.
Tonkin the tank.
Corey discovering something is amiss.
Corey bunny hopped then blew his chain off. C was one of only two (he and Wells) who bunny hopped!
Wicks getting it done.
Kabush. A true hero of mine.
Todd bunny hopped teh barriers every time. He made it look more efficient. Insane.
Travis Brown riding his 1 x 1 (44 x 16). He is bar none my absolute hands down hero. I STILL have a Mountain Bike magazine from like 94 with him on it. Loved him then. Love him now.
Troy rocking it.
Chris G....who RUNS the race....literally patrolling picking up garbage. It's ALL in the details.
Tim and Powers.
The race was RIGHT here. Tim and Powers. Lap after lap marking each other.
Wicks just did not have the snap this year like Trebon did but was really impressive to watch.
Horner throwing down. The guys can't even remount but loves the 'cross. I got a chance to speak with him and he's a neat guy.
Ross Schnell apparently per AC2 in his 2nd cross race...ever. And nailed a top 10 or so.
Colby re mounting.
Matt P! Holy GOD. riding a Primus Mootry single speed (44 x 16), he was truly in the race and when he yelled at Brandon to motivate him near the sand section, it was EPIC. true Boulderites helping out each other.
Todd Wells post race. Unbelievable come back from a broken chain.
Dubba post race. A wink 'cause he knew the form was there?
Some Vid. More coming later.
This is an AWESOME little video clip of the Koppencross highlights from today. I still do not know if I am in love with the 07/08 UCI points leader uniform, this year modeled by Sven in a fairly pedestrian blue. I was down with Sven's perennial vertically striped UCI leaders jersey which essentially has been his for 10 years. If you read the Cycling News coverage of the race today, Wellens pulled back Nys and bridged up in what sounded like a throw down last two laps, only to get dropped like a bad habit by Sven the Cannibal on the bell lap. The sequence where Bart bridges back at the crest of the Kopp and Nascar's into Sven to take the line back onto the hill traversing the top of the field on the Kopp is classic. You go Bart.
I can not wait to get my first shipment of DVD's Joe! Oh, I owe you some casholine, don't I?
Some race action from the UCI races in Ohio this past weekend. Nice to see Brandon mixing it up with Wicks and Parbo at the front. Wicks has so much time at the end, he's show boating through the barriers by bunny hopping.
Cyclocross. In a word the sport is: epic. I'm still in love after all these years. Week 5 ladies and gentlemen of cyclocross racing here in lovely Colorado. This stop Gunnison CO. Affectionately known as Gunni or the G-Spot. The net of the weekend: Pain, suffering, victories, great placings, hard work, snow, freezing rain....joy. More on that in a moment.
The weekend started out at 5:30 in the AM. The RM crew woudl be the, WB, CV and yours truly. WB has the ultimate battle wagon, a very large Suburban, which we jammed 10 sets of wheels (mostly all mine and as you'll read, will be useless as tits on a bull....i should just ride solid rubber tires) 5 bikes, tools, chairs, gear. A battle wagon indeed.
The WB created his (in)famous McWard sandwich. A powerful concoction of toast, Canadian bacon, egg and a secret solution only known to him that resembled mustard and some mayo.) Dee-lish, man. Thanks much for the kindness.
So with coffee, McWard's, bikes packed, we're set. We fire up the Iraqi-conscious V-8 and we're rolling. 3.5 hours later of good road tripping times (and CV's buzz saw from the back) and we're at the campus of Western State College in Gunni.
Ken Bloomer has the course dialed. A nearly 100% grass affair assembled in a twisted maze. Ward and I are salivating as it's a technical course with lots of corners to rail sans brakes and jumps out of the corners to make people hurt. And the weather is PERFECT. Fall weather with a mix of sun and clouds. Like 55 degrees.
We watch CV race his 35Cat4, railing it like a champ and fire the questions at him when he's through. Within a few minutes of his finish, CV is changed, prep'd and ready to be the most unbelievable cameraman and pit crew member of all time.
Day 1: Race 1 35 Opens.
We line up, get the call ups done and the field is small-ish given the distance to the course which many feel is just too damn far to race. The way I look at it: Fun course, great road trip....and boat loads of family planning months ago are not going to derail me. I'm gonna go race me some cyclo-cross! There are maybe 20-22 dudes in the group. We've got dual national champs in here today and Russel Kapius whom I'll talk more about later.
The institution of ACA race officiating, Dean is out there again. "15 seconds gentlemen (I'm intimate with this by now). Go! We're off..
Lap 1 and 2 and it's a dream scenario. Ward, Phenecie, Kiester and this other national champ dude (e.g. he's got the collar and arm bands all present....and toes the line at the start with a nose full of menthol sniffs...so he must be PRO) and we've got a gap. During lap 1, i get squirly on this steep off camber grass section and slide out. Nothing big....and I'm back on my bike in about a second. We're rolling again. By lap 2 I am feeling nice and cozy. Until I hear: thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap thap . What the? I roll RIGHT past the pits thinking the thapping is just a bit of mud and then.
A la Research Center. Back wheel blows up. So...I fall off the lead group....again! (ha!)....and hoof it. Brady Kapius and the CV are at the pits and I do a perfect exchange with those guys. Brady catches and CV hands me my freshie. So, like ALL my races this season, the chase is ON. I'm off the back in a big way. One guy caught. Recover, attack....next guy caught. And so it goes until the finish and I pull in 10th. Some dudes DNF'd so I only had like 4 or 5 guys to bridge--attack-->bridge. I'm making a sport out of this these days! Oy!
On to BETTER news, the WB PODIUMS! Sick ride to 3rd place. He and I in the car ride up strategized over how we would play it out with two team mates up there. He held up his end of the bargain! I'm going to ask for a rain check on our next rendezvous at the front WB. NICE WORK Za WB!
Day 1 Race 2: Opens
So after the 35's and even while cooked, WB turns to me and say, 'C'mon man. Let's jump in the Opens. Damn straight. I want a little more. (read: little more abuse). 3 hours later and with a near staff infection brewing in our chamois, we line up with the Open men and get it on. We've got 3 RM'ers in here: Corey, the WB and me.
3,2,1...Go! I win the whole shot and surprisingly feel pretty good. So I want to play a bit for a deeper work out. Ward is with me and I back off to let Brady and Joey Thomson take the lead. It's their race for sure. Lap 1 about 1/2 way through and we go through this super twisty section that literally sends you under a tree. I have already raced the course so I should have it dialed, right? Nope. I hit my back on this mo fo so hard, I think I dislodged a kidney. I have to stop because I am like laugh/moaning concerned that I am going to pee blood. I pull up my panties and get back in it. As the race roll son, I sincerely feel better and better. I got to roll with the legend Dave Weins and I can see Ward in front of him. I look at my watch and it's 55 minutes. It flew by. I roll in at 59:25, 4 minutes behind Joey Thompson. I can not complain. I kind of surprised myself. Ward rolled nicely to an 8th and Corey rocked it for a 5th. Nice man!
Day 2 Race: 35 Opens.
Early this AM, and after 1000's of CC's of WB's insane gas pumped into the room's atmosphere, we wake up and open up the curtain to our awesome Super 8 motel palace to see gray clouds. Hmm, OK, not bad. This looks like good cross weather. Loading up the truck, it starts coming down. Rain and snow....and 37 degrees. Epic.
We get to the College, unpack, suit up in waterproof pants jackets, gloves hats and roll the course to warm up., It's essentially the same as yesterday but the opposite direction with some improvements made...and some good decisions on Ken's part to make certain areas of the course safer.
CV rolls his 34 Cat 4 race and pulls in an awesome 9th. Nice work boy. We again ask him tons of questions and he dials us in on all of the sketchiness. Our warm ups proved that all that grass was turning into a skating rink.
I dial in the Rock Lobster and set the Dugasts to about 40 PSI. Even with that, I....and the REST of the field...will be hitting the deck.
3,2,1....Go! We're off and heading for a sharp right corner off a dodgey wet sidewalk. I just want all of us to get into the race without a pileup so I yell I want the corner!. Menthol Natn'l champ wants none of that and takes this mad inside line and I ye;; out "What the F!" he's like "Hey, it's bike racing!"....and this begins the first tumble...more like a slippy slide down the grass. I'm up and don't lose virtually any places. I'm behind Menthol Champ and as we start flying into this hard at speed grassy apex, Menthol wipes out.
Of course I'm thinking Nelson: Ha ha! (It'll come bike to bite me).
So we roll and I am with the lead group. Ward's marking Phenecie....who incidentally is racing again today AFTER he crashed severely yesterday and probably needed a CAT scan. He's still looking good though.
Slip 2 happens on the back stretch. Whoosh! I am down again. So are like 3 other guys. I have to sort out my shit and I'm now in like 10th place. We roll on. SHWAP! I'm now caught in a tree! Ha! Gotta untangle from that! Continue ON. I start picking off dudes and by now it's 2nd to last lap. I bridge to this guy and I think by now we are in about 6th and 7th place. In front of us is the Red Rocks Velo "blue train". Thee guys in a team time trial: Russ Kapius, Clay Harris and Jared Shuttleworth. They have like 30 seconds on us and another 20 to Phenecie and Ward. I'm like: "We've gotta work together to brid...".Swoooosh!...D'oh! I am on the ground AGAIN! Ha! So now, generally pissed, I begin what I am coming to know as "My Race." Play catch up.
I bridge to the first guy. Catch and pass him in the run up. Later.
I bridge to the first RRV guy, Jared. See he is suffering so say Adios man. Later. Clay is riding well so I put in an effort and hear HIM go down. As much as I think Clay is an awesome guy, I smile and punch it to get to him. I know he's OK 'cause he's up and I bridge and sit. Sorry Clay. I see Clay put his head down and I punch it again. One guy to go. Russ "The Killer" Kapius. I bury it and launch an attack from Clay to get to Russ. I want to be on the podium SO badly with Ward I can taste it. I am in the 42 x 12 and start to make ground. We are in the grass straight away and we need to come around a tree down a grassy embankment to come back in the opposite direction on pavement to the start/finish. Russ slows down around the tree to ensure he doesn't crash. He's through nicely. I come at the tree like 5 seconds later and I am through nicely. Russ punches it and even in a Cipolini-esque sprint, I can not catch this guy and settle for 4th. Now I know where Brady gets his genetics.
Russ, INSANE job man. Nice work. THAT is bike racing.
Better news: WARD GRABS THE "W". SICK Our man WB, Ward Baker, nails the 35 Open W putting in a last lap attack on Phenecie that wasn't able to be countered. Great job man. I am so proud of the effort!
All in all, it was a great and epic weekend of racing. # races in 2 days and very tired legs.
Couple of Blog-related side notes:
~Colm, great to meet you man! Thanks for reading my trashy 'cross site! I heard you say to watch out for our favorite Saint today man. man. You are a good Irishman. Keep 'crossing HARD!
~My wife calls me from home to say they were out with the kids and some cyclist asked if they were "mud and cowbell's kids?". HA! Awesome. Indeed they are.
Cyclocross rules. People who like cyclocross rule. Therefore, you folks rule.
Credit MOST of these photos and ALL vids to CV!! Thanks man!!
Jeff, this is why I swap out those crappy screws in my Sidis...so I can ensure on certain courses that I can take'em out and put in my spikes!
Man I got misty eyed watching this vid. Wear a dress, race for free. Joe and I used to do intervals here in GG Park....before the law started to be laid. Watch the Le Mans start. One year I tried to long jump like 10 bikes at one of the DFL's with a Le Mans start and ended up landing on some dudes wheel. Sorry man.
Upright. Flow. The feeling of rubber carving and sticking to dirt and grass. Technically as perfect as I could run a race. Maybe sections here and there cleaner, but tight nonetheless. That is what I felt today! Completeness! I'll get to the good stuff in a moment.
Today was Race 1 of 2 f the Frisco BCR race series. I have the full access hall pass for the weekend while Amy mans the kids and home front. I love you Aim! Held at the Nordic Center, the course at was 9000+ feet so the Front Rangers would certainly be at a disadvantage. The course was short and fairly well balanced between pavement, dirt and pure grass sections. It was in my opinion also fairly well balanced between full gas and recovery sections. The quad log barriers were a bit too short in distance IMHO though.
The Men's 35 A's was stacked today. the Call ups of the Top 10 were done and my shitty first 3 races did not allow me to get the tap to the line. I lined up 2nd row.
Dean counted out ....15 seconds!....GO! We're off. Up the pavement we screamed to a climb and into a continued dirt climb to a single barrier at about 20"! Dudes were floundering over that which bummed me out and I overtook a boat load there but the group was super tight still. This would be the theme for the day. Tight pack racing. Hurdling the single barrier you ran up another 10' to remount down hill for 20' before jamming hard right at the bottom to get back on to a paved climb. The attacks would happen here. Often.
First lap and we have 2 groups of about 5-8....then gaps to groups off the back. About 5-10 seconds in between. This race by lap 2 is turning into a knife fight. Altitude or not, the balance of racers is so level it's fantastic and people want a piece of it. This will turn out to be one of the funnest/strategic races I've done in a long time.
Each lap is attack attack attack. I would fly through the barriers, get nice gaps on dudes who were not as fluid but these same dudes would bridge back and repeat lap after lap. I changed my strategy while I was sitting in top 15 at about the mid way point. Oh, and the top 15 were separated by 20-25 seconds. It was that tight. We could see each other on sections where they'd send you past each other after switch backs. My strategy change was to sit in on the 2nd to last lap and let the power roadies do their thing with me in their slipstream. On the paved hill after the run up, I threw a hail of bullets and attacked on the hill. The only guy who could go was former national champ Karl Kiester...who has inexplicable class. He would throw, then I would throw. I would be recovering behind him stare at his stripes on his sleeves. He is an institution of racing. He and I end up splitting away on the bell lap and closed out our business with an 8th and 9th respectively. Shortly behind the 1-7 racers including Timmy who pulled out another W. Nice work boy!!
9th. I will take that amongst these men any day! It was just such a satisfactory feeling to know
(a): I could focus on a clean race where equipment and rider flowed.
(b): That the engine was responsive for me when I needed it late in the race and I could commit to strategy and execute on it. Za Plan is working.
Today was a rare day as I could actually stay and support my team mates and the Boulder Cycle Sport folks. I became a SUPER FAN. Man, my race day usually consist of getting to the race, heavily focus on my race, then race and pack up and go to get back to the fam. Today, I could see the Cat 3, Women and Pro drama. SICK! In the 3's Matt Opperman had a heroic ride after some moron took him out so dramatically....I literally saw his feet in the air and him land on his shoulder/back. Insane. he dug deep to crawl back to a near top 10 in a HUGE field.
The ride of the day though was my boy Brandon in the Pro race. SICK. B finished 1:20 ahead of 2nd place. It was a display of technical execution. Surgical. Attack, grow gap and maintain technical smoothness to never yield an inch. Lap after lap this grew. Pitting was super fun for Brandon.
A GREAT day and looking forward to tomorrow. Race 2. Recovering with Brandon and Taro as we speak with the feet up after a killer dinner and celebratory beer.
Complete. My season began today.
So, last night was the Jr. Cyclocross Development Team fund raiser held at the Boulder Theater. The draw was to come and watch teh antics of J-Pow and the new Cyclofile movie...proceeds going to the Junior development fun. Rad.
So I had a Rocky Mounts team meeting before hand and new I was going to be late. I finish up my business with the team and roll over to the Theater. Movie started at 7. I'm there at 7:45. I walk up to the theater and there are a zillion bikes locked up outside. Rad again. Stoll to the ticket booth:
Me to lady behind the glass: "Hi! Can I grab some tickets? I know I'm late but no big deal. I'll still buy one."
Ticket lady in muffled voice due to glass separating she and I: "Um, like, we're closed now." Sorry."
Me (smiling): "Um, I think this is a fund raiser. Seriously, it's OK that the movie is almost over. No big whup. The money goes to some kids. My bud texted me from inside and said there's tons of seats. Can I just grab a last minute ticket?"
Muffled lady: "Um, like I said, it really closed. So, um, no."
And I rolled home. Gonna have to find another way to help out!
God, I love this town. Wednesday AM 'cross throw down was in effect today. Big big big big group. Conservatively 55-60. Elks and North Boulder Park (although pics below are not in that order).
Today only saw session 1 of 2 on my docket. I love these training sessions cause I can have fun, work super hard but try out lots of things. Today I played with some racing strategy changes and tried out various things which my body seemed to like. Power ramped up consistently, evenly and more powerfully at the end which is what I wanted to feel. I didn't have to bury myself today so I flowed and stayed clean and thought clearly about what I was trying out. I placed well in Session 1 with the top 10 including Brandon, Pete, Will, The WB, Troy, Danny, some others with Pacocha and Sager flowing in with me. I was super satisfied with the experiment.
People are stoked for 'cross this season. Happy faces and lots of fitness going on. It is way different than years past where you'd have hard men like Gully and Travis gone off the front, and a couple of hacks (like me!) trailing along with their tongues wagging. 07 seems like its the year of cross. These sessions are now one looooooong line of crossers fairly evenly trained together or 20 minutes or more. Conversations I've had with lots of these folks prove that 'cross is literally 'it' for them. No more road racing, maybe an MTB race now and again but cross is their core and it's anticipated all year round. Not unlike the rest of the country's growing hot spots. Bike manufacturers have taken notice....next step is parks and rec advocacy! We need the dedicated places for this MASS of people who are so passionate.
Anyhoo, good day today.