Sunday, November 22, 2009

Double Dose

Two days of back to back mud for some head over heals racing.  The 9:45 time slot becomes tricky this time of year as the courses have resembled ice rinks during warm up and then gradually turn to all sorts of mud, hidden ice underneath mud, and generally challenging conditions throughout our race.  Great conditions for racing, as lots of little mistakes will add up and cost you time, energy, and race position.

Saturday down in the Springs was a fun race, and it was cool for me because I raced my first CX race at the same venue earlier this year.  Felt good in the race but that little pavement hill still hurt like it did early season.  Some mud and a few icy spots kept me on my toes but I kept the rubber side down and road smooth.

Shot the Men's and Women's open races and then went and had a couple pints with a friend I hadn't seen in a while.  Good fun shootin' the shit and trading stories.  Doug introduced me to his friend who was at the pub also.  22 year old kid who wrenches in a bike shop and races downhill.  Sounds like the bike he rides as a cross country bike is a 29 lb. single speed.  Gotta love bike people, specially those who make how you ride a bike a priority over what bike you ride.  I'm sure the kid is a hammer too.

Sunday morning I woke up to a flat on the rear so did quick tube change and headed down to Golden.  Scraped the caked mud from my down tube with my Sidi, spilled some lube on the chain and I was good to go.  Halfway through the first lap someone fell on me and pushed my brake pad into my spokes.  By the time I got that all worked out I was off the back.  I worked my way back up the whole race but still couldn't get back to where I needed to be.  Super fun course and the conditions demanded attention at all times.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Last Sunday was such a comedy of errors that it was almost funny, but not quite.  I came away laughing at myself, but also feeling pissed that I was such a slacker.  Woke up to around 10 inches of fresh snow in the yard and knew the race would be epic.  For some reason I was not all wound up for it.  Usually I'm physically shaking as I get ready to race. Needing to unleash all the pent up energy from a week of daily day to day.  Today my head was not in it.  The mental is so much of racing.  You have to have the need to crush it, the taste for blood. If that component is missing, results will not come.

The start was brutal.  A long sprint for the pinch, while getting sprayed hard by fifteen wheels, like a hose in the face at 9:45AM and 30 degrees F.  Sweet!  Vision is severely impaired so I sit up a bit to try and see wear we are going and that's all it takes, I'm in 23rd.  The going is tough and passing involves a roll of the dice into the 8 inches of snow on either side of the 10 inch strip of compacted snow that comprises the course.  I sit in for the first lap and watch the lead group ride away.

When we get to the pavement at the start/finish line I maxed out up the hill to get on the front of a group of about 8 or so.  I hit the mud with a few second gap on the group and then immediately stuff my front wheel into a 6 inch sapling that shouldn't have been an issue.  Stacked it hard and the whole group that I just passed laughs as they go by.  I straighten my brake lever and jump back on with my helmet riding down my neck and my shades all jacked up.

Other highlights include losing it on an off-camber section resulting in a firm embrace with a stout bush; getting wrapped up in CAUTION course tape and eventually breaking said tape with my protruding adams apple; a run in with another off camber section resulting in a quick swim in a dry ditch; and basically just a lot of dangerous riding.

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Love these words, and as always with Rapha, great images.

Pavement is only a way to get to the good stuff.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dirt Lot

Sometimes a venue in and of itself is inspiring.  This may help in one's effort to obtain results for the day, or it may not.  For me, the Norba Nationals/World Cup course at Mt. Snow Vermont was always an inspiration.  The natural beauty of the area, and the truly challenging nature of the course came together to make for an unforgettable venue. Throw in the naked crit and great things were possible at Mt. Snow.

Sundays race was none of that.  The parking lot smelled of leaky oil drums or some other semi-toxic waste, and the course was far from offering any sort of inspiration.  These are the times when inspiration must come from within.  Working the mind in the direction I need to go. Looking in for what it takes.

I dug pretty deep, but I need to go deeper.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Heaven and Hell

Back to the Res for another romp in the sand, although not as much slogging across the beach as the week before.  For me a hellish course; no climbing, non-technical power course with seemingly endless accelerations out of the corners.  Definitely some fun fast swoopy turns too, but after Saturday's goodness it just felt so contrived.  I know where my work is.

The scene was fantastic as the NACT continued it's weekend invasion of the Republic. The tribe was out in force, showing the curious onlookers what it was  all about.  I left my camera at home in order to fully submerse myself (so to speak) in the days festivities.  Instead of grabbing my camera gear and a bottle of water, I grabbed a brat and a beer...nice.  At first I felt guilty for not shooting the races, but that didn't last long as I soon hooked up with my good friend Ed.

We started at the beer garden sand pit for the Elite Women's race, and then headed out on the course for the Men's race.  Lots of screaming and yelling for the local talent.  Lots of screaming and yelling!  Killer to see the local boys and girls out there dicing it out with the nations best.