Tuesday, September 22

Double Cross Day 2

Not much to say about day two. Lined up for the 'B' race after a 30 minute warm up. I felt better and started faster. I was about mid pack going into the dirt and wanted to move up. I picked my spots and started passing guys one at a time. Going into lap two I knew from Day 1 that I couldn't wait and feeling confident I continued pushing forward. Still feeling strong I stood on the straights and longer climbs, moving forward. Then on the short climb before the back asphalt section I broke my chain. Day over!

What could have been? The group I passed earlier finished 10-15th. Would I have broke the top 10? Would I have faded? Can't think about what if. I need to remember what I learned and be better prepared for the November races. For now it's back to the MTB and getting ready for P2P and Ice Man. Despite all the poor racing I still had fun.

Saturday, September 19

Michgan Double Cross - Day 1

Day 1 has come and gone with much disappointment. I showed up too early, having misread the start times, and under nourished. The race started and right off the line I was dead last, struggling to stay in contact. The bike handling felt good, but when the coarse opened up I had no power. Guys kept going by on the road sections and I couldn't hold on. I was lapping around 7:25 - 7:35 vs 6:50 or so for the leaders. The consistency was O.K. I was just slow! I will rest and refuel for another day tomorrow. Not sure if I will do Masters 35+ or 'B'. There is a scheduling conflict. Either way I will fight again and see what happens.

Monday, September 14

Addison Oaks

Wasn't sure I was going to make the race when I woke up on Sunday. My 'IF' was still hanging in the garage crankless! (It's been 2 weeks since I broke the spindle on my XTR. Warranty takes forever.) So after breakfast I thought 'F' it.

8:15 A.M. I call my boy Spike and asked to use his bike. "If you want." he said. Not knowing I was planning on racing his fine 19" KHS that he acquired by exchanging a pack of gum for it. No-not really. Not sure what he traded it for? It came outfitted with a Marzocchi Bomber fork, front disk brake, non-functioning computer and fully functioning bell .

8:30 A.M. Back at home swapping pedals, adjusting the rear brake and trying to stiffen the fork.

8:45 A.M. Trucks loaded and I'm on my way to Addison for a 10 A.M. start.
(skip ahead)
9:45 A.M. On the bike for a quick pre-ride to see how the bike handled. After the first climb I realized I forgot to adjust the saddle height, so I was a bit low. At the top I took a quick right and dove into the single track to check tire pressure. When I hit the asphalt 2-way towards the start finish I saw the Elite go by. OH SH!T I'm going to miss my start.

10:03 A.M. I stash a water bottled by the lap counter and head to the line. I pull up and hear 15 sec. GO! I hit the first climb mid pack? I settled in and felt surprisingly comfortable. I stayed with the guys ahead of me for most of the first lap. Then I got to the single track on the back section, just after the asphalt road. The bike was all over the place. I lost the guys ahead and let some from behind pass. Lap 1 down in 29:38 / sitting in 10th or 11th

Laps 2-4 - Lap 2 started well until I caught a group of 5-6 riders in the first set of single track. Sat on and waited for the pass(s). Finally cleared them after the 2 track along Lake George Rd. then settled back into rhythm. (Fast Forward) Kept moving through riders and feeling more comfortable on the loaner, until the last climb out of the lake valley when my thighs started cramping. I had to shut it down and survive. When I tried to push and chase they seized more. Lap times 30:26 / 30:16 / 30:23. Consistent. I finished 6 of 18 and think I can meet by time goals for P2P and Ice Man (weather permitting).

Still some work to be done before then. CX will help me with faster starts. I know if I can stay with the leaders for the first 10-15 minutes I will finish better because I won't get held up.

Waterford CX 1 and 2 this Saturday. Time to learn some more from the faster guys.

Monday, September 7

Labor Day Weekend 2009

It's official end of summer and riding has been inconsistent this season. I'll have 2-3 weeks of 7-10 hours followed by 2 weeks of weekend only riding. Work, kids, wife and parents have all been tough to juggle. I dusted off the 'planet cross' and rode around the yard practicing dismounts. Today might be my first road race in 10 years at the Devos Pro-Am, if the rain holds off. Cyclocross starts in a couple of weeks and the fall mtb events are amomg my favorites.
A quick Stony Creek recap- After getting home at 1 A.M. from a wedding and consuming too many tapped Oberons I got dressed and started warming up. 5 minutes into warm-up I broke my bottom bracket and thought my day was over. I was lent a 170mm crank for the race. The 'gun' went off and I was about 100' from the starting line because of the crank change. With no warm-up, I pulled myself to the group just before the first climb. My legs loaded up fast and I was left trying to recover and settle in. The 4 laps were more consistent than PLRA and I managed to finish 4th on the day. I was happy with that, but I need to start faster.