Tag Archives: racing

Fail Moab

16 Nov

I missed Fail Moab Fall Moab this year for no good reason.  I so wanted to get back to the desert and ride with the team but I’m old, kids are busy, dug, Rick and Rick bailed.  Not to mention a Chicrosscup double header weekend for crying out loud. Wait, those are all good reasons.

Oh, and the debut of the CR skinsuit, front row!

Day 1 was awesome because the family came out to heckle and take pictures.  Kendra captured my favorite moment of the entire series – Cassidy running along side me heckling, “You suck, is that how you ride a bike? Can’t you pass me?”  The daughter heckle rules!

Day 2 was awesome because I finally got to zip on a superhero suit, I left it on all day – ask Tasha.  Thanks for the pic Duane!

Maybe it was the new superhero suit, maybe not.  All I know is I was riding out of my head, hanging with dudes I have no right to be hanging with. Finished 6th on the day, tying my best finish at a Chicrosscup.

ChiCrossCup Double Header Weekend

18 Oct

My car battery died at the coffee shop on the way to Wauconda Saturday. At first I was bummed that I would miss my 8:45 start, which I did, but the prospect of lining up in a totally different race category quickly got me over my bummedoutedness.

Race start would now be 11:45, plenty of time for AAA to rescue me and still make it to the race.  I’ve never had so much time to set-up, get ready and warm-up – loved it.   Maybe a permanent category change is in order.

Being new to a category has at least one disadvantage – lining up DFL.  Game face time!

Photo by Amy Velogrrl.

Game face worked pretty well for me, moved up from DFL to finish 16th. Or, maybe it was the new bike.

Next stop: Carpentersville.  Jeff and the gang from Main Street Bicycles  and North Branch Cycling put on a fantastic day-long race alongside Carpentersville’s Oktoberfest.  Polka music, brats, brews, mud, cross = damn fine day.

Muddy woop-de-doos through cornfields are like straw bales, they should be mandatory course features.

I dug as deep as I could and managed to pull out an 8th place finish.  Two days in a row of cross racing hurts.  Bad.  New CX goal for the year (down from podium finish) crack the top 5.

ChiCrossCup #2 (DeKalb) and #3 (Dan Ryan Woods)

11 Oct

My first race of the day last week at ChiCrossCup #2 (Masters 40+) went off at 8:45. Strategy was simple, go as hard as possible and see what happens.   While the hole shot and first lap victory were my reward, 6 laps were far too many for that strategy to work.  I faded fast and finished 11th.

All photos thanks to Amy Dykema aka Velogrrl.

The second race of the day for me, OUISSSCXC didn’t start until 4:15, no wonder the family didn’t want to come out.  But as you can see below, it was well worth the wait.  With so much on the line for the winner, all the fast dudes showed up.

Including this guy.

Hay Straw bales!

Hay Straw bales should be mandatory features in all categories at cyclocross races, let the petition drive begin!

I got 6th in race #2 of the day but more importantly James Lalonde won.  What does that mean? That Chicago will be well represented at the 2011 SSWCXC. No pressure James.

Huge thanks to Half Acre Cycling, North Central Cyclery, ChiCrossCup and Robots Powered by Love – they put on a stellar race and the course was my favorite of the season until this past weekend.

ChiCrossCup #3 – I wasn’t prepared to like Sunday’s course with lots of flat, straight, grassy, power sections, but there were enough climby, off-camber, techy sections to more than make up for it.  Bonus points for the giant log in the middle of the course, just big enough to scare 95% of the racers into getting off their bike but not so tall as to intimidate like a regulation barrier.  My favorite CX course so far this year, will be very hard to top.

Wait for it, wait for it…Money!

My strategy was to not go out as hard as last week and to hopefully ride with the lead group for as long as possible leaving enough in the tank to finish well.  Problem was, backing off just hair at the start of a CCC race doesn’t mean just a few people get in front of you it means 25-30 racers get in front of you.  Chase on!

Not starting at the front resulted in my best CCC placing ever, 6th out of 70+ registered.  Note to self: new strategy needs to be somewhere in-between the two previous strategies.

Big thanks to Beverly Bike-Vee Pak and Region Racing for all their work and especially for the free spicy chicken!

Gears Are Stupid

11 Nov

Or maybe I’m just stupid.  After extolling the virtues of gears last week I had my worst race of the year Sunday on the geared bike completely negating my positive experience with gears the previous week.  This supports my original hypothesis that it just doesn’t matter, you’ll do how you do based on your ability and fitness and not on your bike.  I mean, I already knew this from mountain biking having equal if not better results on a SS. I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, gears might make a difference in cyclocross.  Nope.

I was kinda pissed about it too.  After pre-riding the course at Woodstock I was sure I would clean up.  It was very mountain bikey with lots of dirt and climbs and rough sections, for sure I was going to be at an advantage.  Ended up 16th with nothing left over for the 30+ race that I had signed up for.  I whimpered away with my tail between my legs.

Was it the gears?  Am I not training hard enough?  Am I training too hard?  No warm-up?  Too many encased meat products consumed?  I can go on.

I’m not throwing in the towel just yet on gears, I’ll give them 1 more chance. This weekend is double cross weekend at Chicago Cyclocross Cup and I plan on riding the geared bike for both days.   Of course if I really stink it up on Saturday I’ll have no problem turning my back on the geared bike on Sunday, maybe forever.

7th, 9th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 11th, 8th, 16th (italics for geared races)

Draper ICUP

7 Jun

There’s nothing quite like racing on your own backyard trails except for maybe just riding them. I had my best race of the year, as in I felt great for the entire 2+ hours and finished 3rd, Bob I’m coming for you. I really thought this was one I could win but my theory that everyone is getting faster as I get slower is becoming reality.

Some people use computers and GPS but I like to taste the air on my tongue during the race to gauge my speed, doing about 12.5mph here.

The race in the backyard is also good if you’re local. I’m sure I gained an extra minute or two on the out of neighborhood competition just from the cheering section, better than any amount of caffeine. Thanks to Kendra my 14 yr old for the action photos, she may have a future after all. Kendra, If you read this I’m joking you have a very bright future.

Here’s CarborRocket, er, I mean Bryson Perry on the Men’s Pro-Class podium with a huge win. The former Leadville Trail 100 winner has his sights set on Lance this year.

KC Holley with a 2nd place in the Women’s Pro-Class. She is moving up the podium at every race, I expect the big W to be this month.

I somehow managed to crash not one but 2 BBQ’s after the race. First was for Team Revolution at the venue.

2nd was at Dot and Karl’s house. Tasha and I live up the hill from Dot an Karl and have some binoculars trained on their backyard for weekend festivities. I think they are getting used to us as they even offered us food this time. Any progress is notable in party crashing.

My Death Confirmed

18 Jul

Even though I died with a bang it was completely devoid of drama.  As I hiked my bike all the way down from the very top of Solitude I told everyone that asked that I had double flatted.  That wasn’t really true it just seemed like the easiest thing to say without having to explain myself.  I mean who has time to listen to a story at race pace?

I got a big hole in my tire on the very first rocky section and the Stans didn’t seal until it hit 5 pounds of pressure.  Or, so I thought.  I wasted my only air cartridge getting it back up to about 40 pounds before it started blowing air again.  I went ahead and changed the flat thinking maybe I could bum some air off another racer while I hiked off the mountain.  The more I thought about it the more stupid it sounded, “hey, can I have your air because I only brought one?”

I said nothing and hiked it out.  I can’t complain too much, it’s the only flat I’ve had all year.  Too bad it had to be on my last ICUP race of the year.  Next up, Butte 100.  I guess I better start training.

Congrats to Sam for the W and everyone that hung in there just to finish, It looked like it hurt a lot.

My Death

17 Jul

The reports of my death won’t be greatly exagerrated tomorrow.

I pre-rode Solitude today and barely finished one lap.  I don’t know what was harder the climb or the descent.  Tomorrow I am supposed to do nearly 4 laps.  Seriously,  I was baked.  Done.  I predict it will be my undoing as a rigid SS’er.

Does anyone have a full suspension geared bike size 20″ or XL they won’t be using tomorrow? I’m serious.

On a positive note, there will be a cooler full of ice cold recovery beverage waiting for me in the parking lot to look forward to .  Stop by and have one after the race as well as fill your bottles with the new LemonLime CarboRocket before the race.

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