Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lost in the Supermarket

I know I get all amped up after racing.  Even more so when I have a good race.  Then I get to go out and shoot the Elite Men and Women as they throw down, and I get even more amped.  Today the volume was up to eleven!  The Blue Sky Velo Cup brought out the big guns in US CX and the spectators were all over like ants in chocolate.  The course was a dream; a fluid flowing path of mud in it's many forms.  Stay loose and pedal hard and things work out.

It was great to see some of the local boys out there dicing it out with the guys that get their legs rubbed after the races.  Dwight and Webber are working stiffs, and Pete's 40 years old!  Hats off to you guys.  And to have the current World Champion back in town was cool too.  Do I need to tell anyone Compton crushed the Women's field?

So I've been out in the mud all day riding, running, sliding, shooting, and screamin' at the gladiators, and it's finally time to to go home.  My wife has left me a message to pick up a few things at the store on the way home.  Seems harmless enough.  Then I walk in to the King Sooper near my house.  I feel like I'm on another planet, and it's not planet bike.

The place is packed.  Busier than it should be.  Large numbers of elderly retirees have double parked their carts up and down the isles.  I seem to be invisible as I stand there tying to get through.  I quickly resort to the bumper car method and don't look back.  As I head toward the back of the store for some milk, everybody seems to be moving in slow motion and their voices seem far away and muffled.  What was in that PBR those Mafia boys gave me?

But seriously, that's what racing CX does to me.  It is such an intense 45 minutes, that it literally takes me hours to come back down, beer helps though.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Generations

I've been thinking about the last few weekends of racing.  I usually race in the morning, right after the juniors, so I am out on the course warming up when the kids are racing.  To me, there is no better way to start the day than to be out there watching these juniors doing their thing on the course.  Some are totally focused on ripping their lap as fast as they can, while others seem to be taking in the sights along the way.  No matter, they are all having a blast!  Seeing this each morning before my race really puts things into perspective.  If all that is gained from a race is a fix on your jones for competition, keep searching.

I met a kid named Zane at a race earlier this season.  My friend Sean introduced me to him while I was shooting the Men's 45+ Open race.  Turns out Zane's dad Tim is pretty much at or near the front of the field every weekend.  I know this because I have plenty of shots of Tim dicing it out with Thacker, Hodges, and the other big dogs in the 45+ Open.  So weeks go by and I see Zane out and about at the races and I get lots of photos of his dad out there crushing it.

Because I race in the morning and then grab my gear and shoot the Men's and Women's Open races, I am usually toast by the time the Men's Open is over; Beer Thirty.  So I didn't know Zane had been out there crushing his class, which most recently has been the Men's 3's.  Zane is like 16 or something. Last Sunday I introduced myself to Zane's dad, Tim Godby.  We got to chatting and I asked him how Zane got interested in bike racing.  Tim's response, "Keep it fun!"  Oh yeah, and the ACA bumped Zane into the Men's Open class,  he won his first three races in the 3's.

Saturday's race was interesting in the fact that there was a junior football game going on right in the center of the CX course.  It was cool because if I didn't think about it too hard, I felt like all the cheering at the game was for me as I rode circles in the mud.

I have a 4 year old daughter and of course I want her to love the things that I love.  I really hope she doesn't end up as a cheerleader on the sidelines at those games, but I'll support her in whatever she chooses.  Well, of course I can influence her in certain ways.  After my race on Sunday, I went home, picked up Ruby, and took her right back to the Res to watch the Men's Open.  We also caught the little kids race that the folks at Boulder Racing always put on.  Ruby was hooked.  "Daddy, I want to bring my bike next time."   Those words were music to my ears.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mucky Muck With Icing on Top

Finally some muddy conditions. Not full on start line to finish line mud, but enough to play a factor in the racing. I actually got to start in the first row, as many of the speedsters were at Velo swap. I'll take what I can get. Rolled out and actually held my position from the start for the first time this season, which was cool. Ended up reeling in 4 or 5 guys and finished 7th.

Super fun course with two steep run ups that were slick and mucky muck, just the way we like it. Plenty of big ole mud puddles to charge through, and choosing the wrong line could send you hub deep and doing the superman. Lots of slippery off camber corners and one downhill stretch of single track that went from a little slick on the first lap to slick as snot on the second to even slicker than snot as the race went on. It was stay loose and let it roll as gravity did it's best to pull you down into the brush.  Ran in to my friend Shotty after his race and he had a grin from ear to ear.  Yeah, it was a nice change from our typical dust fest.

Sunday was cool too, spitting snow and gun barrel grey.  Icing on yesterdays cake. Called up in the second row but got caught with my thumb in my butt as there was a short roll up in which 20 guys passed me in 20 feet.  Spent the whole race working back up to 15th. Hate running, don't like sand much...had a blast!!

The Webbenator

One of the great things about coming back to Colorado and getting back on two wheels is running into old friends. One such friend is someone I met while racing for Trek during the 1993 season. It was a big team with folks from both coasts and few of us from CO.  Among those from the East, was a quiet and reserved kid from Sugarloaf Maine; Pete Webber.

Pete was totally Pro.  He was 100% into being a bike racer.  I was a bit more into getting done with the racing in Georgia or Indiana or New York, and getting back to the Butte to ride the goods. So we traveled, ate, raced, and roomed together for a few nationals.  I guess he thought I was an OK guy because he ended up coming out to Crested Butte and staying with us for part of the season.  When I told him, "sure you can stay with us!" I'm not sure he knew he would be staying in a 600 sq ft box where the bathroom may as well as not have had a door.

Pete stayed for a while, but when his girlfriend Sally arrived, she was having none of that and they moved on to more spacious accomodations.  I don't blame her.  Anyways, myself, Riepe, Patrick Myall, and Stubbe, got to give Pete a good sampling of the local single track.  I believe it may have been his first taste of true Colorado goodness.  I hope he enjoyed it. As anyone who knows Pete will attest, he is truly a good person and I won't forget our season with Trek and the laughs we all had.

A recent post by Keller actually sparked this rumination.  I remember when that Fisher ad came out.  I must say I was pretty surprised.  Although it had only been a few years, Pete was obviously coming out of his shell.  What were they feeding him over there at Fisher?

Ride on Pete....

Friday, October 23, 2009


Finally able to sneak out for a little ride today. Hadn't ridden since the two races last weekend. It took that long for my legs to stop hurting. The crash on Saturday left me bruised and battered.

After some rain the other day, the backyard loop was hard and super tacky. Felt good to let it roll through the open fields.

The bike is totally dialed with new cables and pads. Amazing what a little TLC can do for the ride. The legs felt good too.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let's Race Bikes

Guess I'll get right into the racing as it has been a passion of mine for over twenty years. Last weekend was a two day suffer-fest. Both courses were rugged. Fair amount of climbing for CX courses as I gather, this being my first season of cross and all. Got relegated to the back of the pack at Valmont due to some non-ACA call-up procedures introduced by Bobby Noyes in which he called up all those who helped out with the park. Hell yeah, they deserved it, I hadn't contributed to the cause, and what a beautiful cause, thanks Bobby and all.

So I'm sucking dust in 30th or so up the first climb, maxing out to get up to where I want to be. First two laps are hectic with the dust and the close quarters. Eventually it opens up and I work my way through a group of 5 or 6 riders into 14th or so. One more guy up ahead and then a gap that's gotta lead to the top ten. I've got the patience of a monkey so I try to pass on the inside of the loosest corner on the course. Front wheel washes out and I take the other guy down with me. "Sorry dude, that was lame." is all I can say. 7 or 8 pass me as I straighten my bars. I'm back on, but my shifting is screwed, and I start to cramp soon after. Damage control to the finish line.

Sunday in Golden goes better. Called up but still let 10 guys slide by on the hole shot. Work up to 15th or so and get in the groove. Killer course with lots of bike handling involved. Stay smooth, ride clean. Finish just out of top 10. Work to be done.

Am I really blogging?

I really dislike the word blog. It makes me think of really large people all trying to squeeze into an elevator on a hot and sweaty day. Not too pleasant. But I guess everybody is doing it..., blogging that is. I figure it's a great place for me to collect my thoughts, or maybe disperse my thoughts. Maybe others will be interested, but I'm not sure why. Something to do with our society's need to know about other peoples business? I suffer from it. I have watched certain reality shows since back in the day. Not sure why.

I have quite a few blogs that I follow. This is a new affliction, one that I have only recently discovered deep within my darkest depths. It started when I was reborn into the cycling world. Years ago I raced mountain bikes for about five seasons. I was lucky enough to get into racing in the 90's when the money was flowing through the bike industry. Plane tickets, rental cars and accommodations for all the Norba Nationals were taken care of by the team. Six each season. The Colorado Points series was also a big deal back then so I also did at least eight of those each summer. Needless to say, my view of bike riding was fairly focused on racing. Things are different now. Five years off the bike due to injury, work, and life.

So yes, a rebirth of sorts, and with this rebirth, a new realization that I am part of a bigger tribe. A tribe consisting of many types. We don't all ride the same bikes, love the same rides, or even share the same values, but we all love the wonderful mechanical creation called the bicycle. Part of being a member of a tribe is contribution. I attempt to contribute to the community with my photography and my ramblings. Hopefully they provide inspiration to others to contribute in their own way.