Sunday, March 24

And There Off.......Barry-Roubaix 2013

The winter training test took place yesterday in Hastings, Michigan. Most of the big teams and top riders were present for this 5th edition of the Berry-Roubaix. This event has gone from 300-3,000 racers in that very short time and for good reason. Quality competition, great organization and well ran. My experience this year was smooth sailing.

Tom Clark and I loaded up and drove over Friday afternoon. Followed the maps and quickly made it through packet pick-up and on our way to the hotel. We where staying at Bay Point Inn, located on the west side of the course, so we had a chance to check out some of the dirt roads. Conditions covered everything possible- dry, wet, soft mud, snow, slush and ice. Saturday's race was looking pretty bad. Hopefully the night temps would firm things up.

We woke to 25 damp degrees and after a sub-par breakfast, made our way to Hastings. We back tracked some of the race and saw that things had frozen over. This was bitter-sweet news because instead of wet mud, now we had to worry about ice covered roads. Oh well, were here so let's see what happens.

A slow change and no warm-up later, it's time to line up and wait for the start. Wave 5 had a half dozen or so names I would try to stay with (Simon Bailey, Jamie Parker, Tom Payn, David Messing). We were all in the first 2 rows on the line and at the gun we were moving. Guys quickly settled in and the race was on.

Within the first mile we are already catching the tail of the wave 4 and navigating traffic, along with bottles.  All the guys above seemed on form and another 3-4 guys joined the mix. For the first several miles, me and Jamie Parker were dangling off the back and I was worried if I could stay with the group. Through some rollers, icy roads and now the march up Otis and Gunn Lk. This is when the first big selection would come. On Otis, Simon Bailey goes down and the group splits. I'm off the back with David Messing when we turn onto Gunn Lk. I know if I don't bridge back it's over. Suddenly, I think Don Cummings from ACF, comes by and say's to grab a wheel and let's go! Quickly we're back, then past the leaders. They react and we are flying up Gunn Lk all the way to Yankee Springs and Norris. The group has been reduced to 5 and we have half the race left.

Once on Norris, Don is tired and the group slows for a bit. I'm feeling good so to the front and let's see what happens. I give a hard tempo until Mullen but it doesn't do much. The group is still together. We each take turns on the front and continue our march through the earlier waves.

With about 10 miles to go we catch the lead group of wave 4 (John Osgood and Dan Bannink). They join the train and we are still flying along. Onto the pavement and 3 miles left, now 2 with 1 or 1.5 Osgood charges to the front and leads us into town. Only a half mile left and Dan gives the sign to jump on for the lead out. I miss it, the others react far better and I'm out of position going into the left hander before the finish. I roll in 5th and very happy with my effort.

Congratulations to Tom Clark on his 2nd place, Tom Payn for 3rd, Brad Lako 5th, Shawn Welch 6th, Osgood 4th, Bannink 3rd. 

Thank you Rick for a great event. Great seeing all the guys and girls out there. Nice riding Keith Riege, Jason Cotter and Todd Powers.

Good Luck and have a Great Season.

Monday, March 18

Before We Get This Bitch Started.......

Let me say this.
There will be some shit talking, finger pointing and rulers out to see who's is bigger in a few short days at BRX and the first big test of the 2013 cycling season.
Many will have reasons for their lack luster race. The long, cold, snowy winter. Muddy coarse.
Who knows what great things will be overheard.
What happens this Saturday is a barometer of where you're at. 
There's a whole season still to go and anything can happen.
Here's a few things to think about on the rides.
You shouldn't judge your success by others results.
I've won races without finishing 1st.
I've lost races while standing on the top. 
Some race, some ride and others just are.
There's nothing wrong with competition and being proud of what you've done.
Bragging rights are worth having but they only last until the next event.
There's a fine line between cocky and confidence.
If you ever think your 'the big fish' find a bigger pond.
If you're really that great, others will speak for you.
If you think you 'suck' start with a smaller goal.
Goals and training plans are not set in stone.
What training plan works for others might not work for you.
Be a student, teacher and friend.
Don't forget to wave and say high when you see people.
Stop if someone needs help. You can train after.
Enjoy and don't take it too seriously.
Good luck and may you accomplish all you set out to do.

Friday, March 15

What's going on?

BRX is a week away.
Mother nature keeps covering us in white.
Looking for some change.
It's all good.