Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Compton Cup

I think this picture sums up my race.
I was inches from riding up the insanely steep run-up. But just not quite there. I was inches from not tripping over the first set of barriers on the first lap. The people who kindly ran over my hand and foot were inches from not riding on me. Switching over to metric, I was a nanometer from not having air leak out of my valve and give me a flat.
The thing about racing in New England is its a hot bed for Cycle Cross. Some of the best riders in the world have come from here. Because of that, podunk races such as the Compton Cup have racers of world class capabilities. It's right out of their front door too. This can make for some mentally and physically hard weekends.
It'll come together. Someday. When todays workout was over, all I could think about was tomorrows workout and whats on tap for the day after that. And how to pack in the most recovery between the points. Cycling takes time. You've got to take your licks, learn and go back and give'r the next weekend. Its all going to click, and when it does, it'll click big because each week I'm inches from making it all come together.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Keep it on the low

Things have been slowing down at work with the weather turning cold and all, so I've had lots of thinking time. I've come up with the sweetest cross practice course. It's got everything: Sandy beach, long stair run up, hills, logs to bunny hop, and single track. The location will remain undisclosed and will now be known as "the spot"Just a few more parts and she'll be together.
I wonder when exactly guys starting calling their cars girls. You know the ladies didn't start calling their Cadies Betsy. Maybe it started with tractors or horses. I think one of my bikes is now going to be a man, just to keep things fair in the stable...I only have enough room in my heart for one woman....and my mom.

I've been on quite the quest lately to make everything better. From my position on the bike right down to my shoes. Thinking outside the box and over engineering .
We'll see how they work.
It looks like this weekend went from "Eh, one more weekend of no racing will be good for me" to "Dang, I gotta feed the addiction, whats that? A race just south of the city? Well whooo dang lets giv'er!"

Way to hide the evidence of my slacking off at work.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Don't squash the Chickens

All I want to do right now is ride. "Its like I have a sickness...and the only cure, is more riding..."
I did the unthinkable this week...

I'm down a road bike at the moment (awaiting parts from Easton and now my Sram Rival group.) So I mounted a water bottle cage, swapped some slicks on to a spare set of wheels and hit the road.

With no races for the next two weeks, I think I'm going to go a little crazy. I was a little burnt after the events of last weekend. Great race, not getting results for it, Getting sick, not racing the next day and still getting a result and not even racing. I don't know how it works.

The important thing is that confidence is up and form is getting good. My handling skills are only improving with each race as I catch the steep learning curve that is Elite racing.

Its all about the second half of the cross season.

Get outside people, the weather is slipping from us fast.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Things

Here are a few random things from this weekend mainly because its Thursday and I'm still laughing about them.

-With the amount of water I drink everyday there are times when I feel like peeing is what I do all day. There was a guy in the start coral that must have had the same feelings. 10 min before we are let loose, he whips it out and pees in a nice puddle on the start line. Nah man, there aren't 70 guys behind you that have to ride in that....

-Being a UCI race, we were under the big people's law. Fines were handed out for rider's infractions and payable in none other than Swiss Francs.

-I was stopped a handful of times by random people that wanted to check out my bike. "oh, you got an 07! That's tight!" I just wasn't ready for that.

-Having a closed course to warm up on is so choice. You can take your time and dial in your lines, watch other riders and steal their lines.

Lastly, I was tooling around some different websites this morning looking to see how many UCI points I picked up this weekend and to try and get an idea how many zeros were in my UCI ranking....I didn't get any of that but, I found out that I'm the top ranked rider in Massachusetts and finished the NORBA National Series ranked 9th. I had no idea.

Stuff like that makes a win-less season more of a success.

And thats the way it goes.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

USGP Gloucester Day 2

Cross Hurts.
(You can click on the photos to see larger image)
Its a good hurt. The type of hurt that reminds you that you are alive.
Reminds you that you have lungs. And legs.
Cross hurts so much you can feel organs you had no idea where they were located. (See the snot hanging off my face?)

The good thing is that I didn't get beat by the Haitian National team
yea, he's rollin' it on a road bike.

The weather was amazing
And the legs were working quite well
Some how I was able to move up 22 places from day one and finish 68th/110. 15th in U23.....it's got me scratching my head wondering how that one worked out. But I'll take it.
Whats really crazy is racing when the sides of the course look like this:
Big ups to my crew on day two: Andy, Greeley (photo credits go to her) and the ever so lovely H bomb.

A big thanks goes out to those who cheered me on. I heard ya'll....not sure who was where, but the support was amazing.

New Glouccester next weekend for the start of the VERGE series. The iorny slays me.

Monday, October 09, 2006

USGP Gloucester Day 1

Well, I've got my first pro start out of the way. Granted, I was racing U23 and was only really racing against 25 or so guys, starting in a pack of 110 riders can be somewhat hectic and add to the experience. Making it more enjoyable was the fact that I was toe'n the same start line with guys that I've been reading about in magazines since I was 14.
getting dressed Glouster Day 1
I brought a full crew. Complete with my mechanic (yea, I'm big time) His daughter and my biggest supporter, Heather (I think she was texting some of my other supporters about my blingin' socks.)

The race went ok. I wasn't nearly as aggressive as I should have been. I'm wasn't used to starting in a pack that large and putting my bike into real estate that really isn't real estate like some of the other riders were.
After getting behind a few crashes and having to pick my way around them slowly, I was shortly off the back.
Hurt locker Glouster Day 1
The rest of the race was a long hurt fest. As I went from hurt bag to hurt grinder to hurt locker the laps clicked away. When I saw 4 laps to go I had a new sense of hope that maybe I'd make it through without being lapped. But that lap would be the lap that I saw the leaders come by me and it would be my last. Mr. UCI official put me out of my pain with 3 laps to go and 40min of racing under my belt.
I had no idea that I would be able to last that long.
Hurt Grinder Glouster Day 1
The weather was pretty fantastic.

And so it goes. Cross season is officially started for me and as the weeks click by I'm more than sure I'll be impoving on my 90/110 placing and top 20 in the U23s.

Gloucester Day 2 tomorrow.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The waiting is the hardest part

I think the worst part of racing is the waiting. Gloucester is tomorrow and I've been thinking about it for what seems like forever.
It's not even like I'm nervous or anything, I just want to race.
Go till I blow.

I've got lots of great support lined up. John (the wrench at the shop) is going to the race to be my pit guy. He's been tweaking my bike all week and its running great. I think Andy is going to be my wheel guy on Sunday and be at the race chillaxing. I've also got an in with the wrench in the Sram neutral support, if need be. Lastly we've let Adam Craig and Carl Decker (two of the paid guys rollin' it for Giant) use one of our work stands and two of our trainers. So I've been advised to keep my stuff at their tent and warm up with the big boys. We'll see how its all laid out. If we can park close enough to the start line, I think I may just do my own thing out the trunk of the Ecco.

I'm not nervous about the race at all. It's going to be great. crazy but great. The thing I'm more worried about is hitting my quota of race day duces. Each rider has a set amount of times that they have to drop shammy to have a great race. For some reason I'm more focused on that then anything else.

So be it. Tomorrow, I run with the bulls.