Thursday, October 30, 2008

A little R & R

So, basically another season ending cold. I started the cyclocross season off in full stride. Unlike previous seasons where I became to fast to quickly this one seemed to be just about right. I ended up taking fourth in my first cross race and then the usual get sick and go slow. I figure that eventually things will come together for me, but in the mean time I have this never ending cough and congestion. No fun.

Its that time of the year where it doesn't really matter if I race or really ride much so the R & R is beginning. Time to get healthy and build upon what I have learned this year.

My priorities in the past were more of a following then any actual truth of what I really have wanted or want. I started racing Mountain bikes and branched from there. MTB racing was the passion that started this and the first to be put on the back burner. It doesn't make much sense to me so the plan for this up coming year is to spend some quality time on the single track. A couple of the races I plan to do is 24 Moab, Breck Epic, Mountain State Cups and possibly some other local races.

And, after talking to a couple of friends I might do a couple of stage races pending on whether our schedules cross as well as work and now school again. I just recently registered for classes (excited to finish...only 37 more credits).

I just realized that I haven't really written anything of significant happens.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boulder Series #2

This weekend I drove down to Boulder Colorado for the 2nd of the Boulder Series. This weekend was the first weekend with real cyclocross weather. It had rain throughout the night and continued into the day of the race. There was a high of 45 degrees(didn't really reach the high).

The course was a fun one. You started out on a road(isn't my favorite for the reason of all the power house roadies that are cat 2/1 that don't up grade really push it). The road was a gradual climb that ended with you having to jump a curb entering into a single track section that snaked. There was a log that you either had to jump(which I did everytime, which wasn't hard), dismount or wreck into(for some odd reason it seemed like ever other person did the last choice, and painfully). You rode over a wooden bridge that almost ate me(slippery like ice, you enter it from an off-camber slope) into more single track through the woods. Then the hardest part mentally, you snaked through a parking lot and crossed a field that had to be the most bumpy thing to have ever been ridden across(it was painful and long). Then comes the mud and crowds. We headed into a lower drainage field where you hit mud and lots of it. Everything from 6 inch mud holes to the slippery off-camber-everyone-eats-sh&t sections.

I started out in the third row due to them choosing to do call ups from the previous race which I DNF. I hit the single track section around 10th and held it for the first lap. I tried to move up in the single track sections but failed miserably. Riders were being extremely sketchy doing stupid things resulting in me not being able to pass.

Lap 2: I was still around 10th till I had to dismount in the muddiest section(which was ridable) due to people not being able to ride it(not sure why). From this point on I wasn't able to clip in. for any one that has tried to race one of these races knows how impossible it is to go fast without being clipped in. I regretably/frustratedly headed in the oppositedirection of the leaders. There wasn't much I could do. I even stopped on the pavement to try and clean my shoes and pedals, but with no luck.

Even though I finished mid pack I can't complain because I was just having fun riding the course. Yeah, no one likes loosing but at the same time I am still getting over a chest cold(I call it the lung disease) and don't want to push it.I have a feeling winter is coming upon us quickly this year. Stay warm, have fun and be safe as always.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Frisco and New Belgium Cross

So last weekend I drove to Frisco, Colorado by myself to do the first Frisco race of the series. I thought I I was feeling good. My legs where but my lungs were not. I warmed up for a little over an hour. The weather was windy and mid 40's. Slightly on the colder side. I again got a call up for the front row which was nice.

The starting line was on a paved road. we instantly hit a climb that gradually increased for over 500 yards. It then took a hard left down another paved road which spit you out into a hard right which was a dirt road. Followed by a technical s-shaped downhill. It continued to snake around as single track. About 500 yards before the finish line there was a huge run-up. it was loose, steep and long.

I sat top 10 for the first lap and started to head in the opposite direction. My chest started to tighten, loss of breath, coughing. I wasn't sure what was going on. Once the sharp pain in my chest started I sat up. I couldn't just stop because it made it hurt worse so I soft pedaled a couple of laps before pulling myself. It was extremely frustrating. My legs were there but without the lungs there isn't anything you can do.

This evening was the New Belgium Cross series opener. I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I wasn't feeling good the past two weekends and had only ridden easy the following two weeks. I figure its only $5. So, the start was crazy. It was a mass start with everyone lined up in one row. I missed my pedal and then started to spin-out. Overall really bad start for me. I hit the sand pit top ten which was my goal. from there I kept my pace steady. I didn't push above LT or even at LT for the fear that I was going to start coughing. Majority of the race I just sat around 5th place just riding my own race. I wasn't worried about what place I got. Basically, just wanted to see how my lungs were going to react. I finished I believe 5th.

New Belgium puts on good practice races that are fun yet competitive. This weekend I will be headed to Boulder, Colorado to race the 2nd of the Boulder series. Hopefully things go better. For now enjoy, be safe and ride lots.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Boulder Series #1

So I drove down to Boulder this morning to race the first of four races in the boulder series. I get there a little early to watch some of the other races and see how the course is. The course was fast with a couple of barriers and a large sand pit.

I tried warming up but wasn't feeling good. My legs wouldn't loosen and my whole body had this dull ache feeling. I figured that I was going to race anyways in hopes that it would just go away. We all lined up waiting to be placed for the start. I got a call up for the first row. Not to bad for only racing one race so far this season. Unfortunately I was on the inside of the front line. The start was fast and hit a hard right which bottle-necked immediately right into me. I got pinched by two riders which meant everyone on the outside came around. The second turn I was sitting around 10th when two guys went down in front of me, and again people went around. I fought back and was sitting around 18th on about the second or third lap when I dismounted for one of the barriers and almost instantly had my calf cramp. I shortly after (about 35ft later) pulled myself from the race. I got to sit there in frustration watching the race go on.

It just wasn't my day. I am going to take some time off the bike this week and try to become healthier before heading up to Frisco, CO to race the first of the Frisco series.

For now.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A break in training and Mountain bound

This week I have been putting some time on the bike [More then usual]. I try and ride with one of my friends (George, for everyone who does not know George think of European, ex-pro fast) at least once a week possibly twice a week. A lot of our rides consist of attack after attack, fast tempo, and constant learning. George has helped me with my training in regards of becoming an overall better rider.

A couple of weeks ago I went on George's Time-trial ride which is a loop from Loveland, Co through Eden Valley, Masonville, and back to Loveland. It is LT from the gun. What is unique about the ride is that there is climbing, false flats, flats, etc. It has everything. Our average was 28.5 mph. For me this is good. I was extremely comfortable on the bike. I felt like majority of my power was actually transfered trough my pedal strokes.

The past two weeks I have tried to be consistent with my training, which is hard since I work full time at Breakaway cycles, loveland, Co. In the past I have started strong early season and became to fast, to strong, to quickly. In a sense a shock to my system leading to the self-distruction of my immune system as well as my hard work[training]. And because of this I have decided to build in relax time into my already overwhelming schedule.

This past Tuesday, I drove up near Cameron Pass, Colorado. I stopped near Poudre Falls. Water to me is like a drug. It is an instant tension releaser. I walked around the falls, took some pictures, admired the incredible power and destructive force the falls have and just relaxed.

Here are some of my pictures: Better seen in person.
Me near the falls:
The leaves changing: Fall already!!!some more views:This weeked coming I will be racing my second cyclocross race of the year. It is #1 of the Boulder series in Boulder, CO. Should be a good race. Larger fields, more traditional cross layout, etc. For now enjoy.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Pike's Peak Supercross #1

This past weekend was officially my first cyclocross race of the year, and my third ever. I traveled down to Colorado Springs, CO to race the Pike's Peak Supercross. I wasn't sure how I was going to do since I had only ridden my bike three times over the two weeks prior to this race. I had also upgraded to Cat 3.

I get to the race early so that I am able to watch some of the other races and check out the course. The course was constantly changing. It had rained a little over three inches the night before, which meant mud and lots of it. The earlier races were slow due to the conditions and amount of mud. around noon the sun came out full bore. The course started to dry out and become faster.

The layout of the course was more of a mtb race then a cross race. You started on the flat hard pack road and did a loop leading into single track which was technical, but fast. about half way through the course you come to the beginning of the climb with a barrier, then you climb more till you hit a steep intense climb followed by a mud pit that shot you out onto a road where you continued to climb....still climbing...followed by another technical section, a fast downhill and then back to climbing. Once you finally hit the top you made a fast decent through numerous terrain transitions, over a bridge, and back to the single track section before you start climbing again.

If you hate climbing this wasn't the race to do. There were no breaks between obstacles. You were maxed from the gun.

At the start we were all sitting at the line talking about the course and what we thought about it and things of that nature. The conversation led somehow to my bike and the low down on it. A guy from some magazine, paper, website (not really sure) wanted to take some pics and get the story. The weapon of choice is my new 2009 Giant TCX, decked with SRAM Force, FSA carbon k-force seat post, stem, TRP carbon brakes, Ksyrium SL premium wheels, Selle Italia team seat, etc. all weighing in a 17lbs. AND, then it lead to what people were running for gears. I set mine up as a 1X10 (45X11-25). Everyone was pushing a 42 and wishing for smaller. A lot of the guys basically said that I wasn't going to do well because I was running way to big of gears...blah, blah. I just listened and figured we shall see.

The start was fast (almost killed a unleashed dog on course). I was sitting tenth for the flat fast section and saw a gap start to form and jumped on it. Three guys and myself opened a gap leading into the single track section and continued to push it up the climb. By lap two the race was between us. I sat third for the majority of the race. Two laps to go I could no longer push the gears I had up two of the steepest parts of the climb and was forced to run it. The gap opened and first and second places we sealed. I ended up being passed on one of the climbs and couldn't close the gap before the finish. I finished forth, 45seconds behind the leader.

Overall, I thought it was a good starting point for me. Already I have ridden more this week then the two prior. The next race is Boulder CX series #1, 9/27/08. Should be a good race and hopefully one step closer to upgrading. I am looking forward to see how things differ since the race will resemble more of a CX course then a MTB one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday I was sent to the 2009 release of the Yeti line in Golden Colorado. It was a pretty nice set up. We get there and all of the 09 bikes are set up and there for our taking. Yeti is by far ahead of most companies when it comes to how their products perform. The basis of their products is the insight from races and people who actually use the bikes to the full extent. Everything is made in house in Golden throughout all stages of development until it needs mass produced. This is vital to how they are able to put out such quality products at the rate they do.

We toured the factory and got the down low on all the unique steps and ways of Yeti. It was cool to see that one guy basically ran the actual making, machining, and overall build-up of the framing, which was literally half of the shop.

After being fed we were each set up with a 2009 bike of choice to demo. Of course racing XC I choose to demo the new ASR-C. Everyone split up into groups based of the trails they wanted to ride. I choose to do Mathews which is a really tech trail system with basically everything across the board terrain to ride. When we went to leave there were only three of us in my group (out of 30 or so people). Myself, Ariel Lindsley, and Abby Hippely (both Pro Yeti riders/Reps in yeti Cali Territory). Not a bad situation for me. I get a tour of the boulder trails by two pros that know it best. I was a little worried about keeping up since after all they were "PRO" but honestly I think I held my own(not bad for only riding a MTB like 7 times this year). I think I surprised them with my tech skills and oddly down-hilling abilities.

The ride was good fun. Ariel and Abby were chill people and extremely insightful both on the products, riding and racing scene. They sealed the deal with what MTB I will hopefully be riding next year.

The ASR-C. All I can say is "WOW". I haven't ridden anything like this. If you want a race bike that has everything this is it. Cornering at high speeds with nothing but predictability, light weight, stiffness, unprecedented climbing, smooth transitions, etc. I could go on but words can't explain this bike. If you demo one you will know what I am talking about.

Enough now for that convo. This weekend is my cross race in Co, Springs. I will post later what happens.

for now enjoy, be safe and ride lots.